Immunisation is the key to giving children the chance to grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

Yet, the likelihood that a child born today will be fully vaccinated by the time they reach the age of five is less than 20 per cent. For children living in remote areas, accessing vaccinations and health care is even more challenging.   

The is the reality for children in the Eñepá and Hoti indigenous groups in Bolívar state, Venezuela. Last year, we sent vaccination teams on the long journey on planes, on canoes and on foot to reach more than 1,300 vulnerable children. 

For UNICEF, there is no child too far when it comes to preventing preventable illnesses in these isolated communities. This is what it looked like.  
Alejandra Pocaterra, UNICEF Venezuela producer, helps to unload the supplies from a plane. © UNICEF/UNI323795/Tafuro

By plane, boat and foot, we will go the extra mile to reach children in remote communities with life-saving vaccines.  
UNICEF staff ride in a “curiara” dugout canoe to visit the family homes of the Hoti ethnic group. © UNICEF/UNI323823/Tafuro
UNICEF staff ride in a “curiara” dugout canoe to visit the family homes of the Hoti ethnic group. © UNICEF/UNI323823/Tafuro

Vaccines are the best protection against diseases such as polio, yellow fever, and measles. 

Each year, UNICEF vaccinates more than half of the world’s children. We know vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving.  

Now these children can also benefit from one of medicine’s most revolutionary inventions. 
A child from the Hoti ethnic group receives his immunisation. © UNICEF/UNI323807/Pocaterra
Lujemar, 10, smiles at the camera after receiving his vaccination. © UNICEF/UNI323804

Today in Venezuela, preventable diseases, such as measles and diphtheria, continue to persist. Low immunisation coverage and disruptions to health and nutrition services due to the pandemic continue to threaten the survival of children.   

In 2021, UNICEF aims to reach more than 530,000 children with vaccines. 

No matter where in the world they are, UNICEF will not stop until every child has access to life-saving vaccines. 
Fidelina, 12, from the Hoti ethnic group, smiles at the camera. © UNICEF/UNI341606/Pocaterra