KORAPUT: Diarrhoea claimed the lives of at least nine persons in Gadiaguda panchayat in the last one week and 10 others were undergoing treatment at the health centre in Podagad, said Sujog Nayak, medical officer.

Local MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati, who visited Badamguda, Paikopuki, Talogodari, Mundar and Chingadamali villages under the panchayat on Tuesday, urged the district administration to intervene.

Following the appeal, a special medical team was sent to the panchayat on Wednesday. Most of the tubewells were not functioning, forcing people to depend on nearby streams for drinking water, Mr. Bahinipati said. This apart, inadequate number of doctors to cater to the medical needs of the vast region and lack of awareness among people to bring patients to hospital were adding to the problem, he said.