WHO’s emergency botulism antitoxins arrive in Vietnam hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Six vials of Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (BAT) sent from Switzerland by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as emergency aid arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on May 24 evening to treat patients poisoned with botulinum.

The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health said botulism is a serious illness caused by clostridium botulinum, a poisonous substance in the bacteria found in badly preserved food. It rarely occurs around the world and in Vietnam.

As such, the supply of BAT is also limited worldwide, the administration said, adding that the price of this antitoxin is sky-high, and BAT is not listed among the medicines covered by the health insurance fund.

Since 2020, Vietnam has reported a few cases of botulism poisoning, with three recorded in HCM City most recently.

On May 23, the administration had a working session with the WHO Office in Hanoi, asking for the organisation’s help with antitoxin supply.

The Ministry of Health said the Prime Minister has agreed with its proposal on building a mechanism to ensure the availability of scarce drugs and those with limited supply./.