A Kashechewan First Nation mother says she has been given several remedies to cure her daughter’s painful skin sores including the latest, a bleach bath.
Arlene Nakogee shared a number of photos of her young daughter who has open sores covering much of her body, and face.
The bleach bath is one of several solutions the family has heard as it struggles to treat the 10-month-old’s red, itchy rash.
The latest diagnosis is impetigo, said Muskego, who has also been told her daughter has eczema.
But she says prescription drugs and creams have failed to clear up the lesions she blames on mould in their 30-year-old home.
Grandfather William Nakogee said he did his own experiment and sent the toddler to spend a night with her other grandparents who have a new home.
He said she seemed to improve and then things got worse when she came back to his house, he said.
It’s not the first case of skin lesions in Kashechewan.
In 2016, 16 children were airlifted to hospitals in southern Ontario to be treated for skin lesions.
Chief Leo Friday said at the time he was considering declaring a state-of-emergency.
Friday was out of the community Wednesday and not available for comment.
Kashechewan sits on a flood plain and was twice evacuated in recent years when the Albany River spilled its banks.
Arlene says she’s been told to prepare for another evacuation due to spring breakup and will use that opportunity to take her daughter to a hospital in Timmins, Ont.
Her NDP-MP called that “third world” medical care.
“The only way she can get out is on a flood evacuation flight,” said Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay).
“Is this how we do emergency medical treatment for children?”
The health situation highlights the difference in medical care on and off First Nations.
Arlene says a nurse at the community’s health centre told her her daughter was quite ill and should be seen every day.
Yet the girl doesn’t seem to be sick enough to rate an emergency flight out.
“One doctor said not to medivac her out. He said it wasn’t that serious,” Arlene said.
APTN News contacted the medical centre in Kashechewan but calls were not returned.
Back in 2016, APTN visited another family whose home had mould issues.
Angus said the young patient needs to be assessed by a skin specialist.
“She has to get out of that environment and get a proper diagnosis. The Benadryl’s not working,” he said.
“I’m not going to soak my granddaughter in bleach,” he said.
An online dermatology site does say mild bleach baths are an accepted way to combat moderate to severe eczema.