Pakistan’s Polio Crisis: The Deeper Story | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Pakistan’s Polio Crisis: The Deeper Story

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The world is witnessing a resurgence of the polio virus, and Pakistani is at its epicenter. This year, Pakistan has already reported about 60 cases—far more than any other country. Most observers blame Pakistan’s worsening polio problem on rising militancy. Yet according to Samia Altaf, there is a deeper story beyond this popular narrative. Altaf, a former Wilson Center Pakistan Scholar, is a medical doctor who has served as a senior advisor on health to USAID in Islamabad. She will present new research highlighting how and why Pakistan’s polio vaccination efforts have been dogged by systemic problems for a decade—long before the Taliban began sabotaging such efforts.  


  • Samia Altaf

    Former Pakistan Scholar
    Former Acting Director and Senior Advisor, Office of Health, USAID Mission in Islamabad, Pakistan