If one were to go by the statistics put out by the state vector-borne diseases control programme, which have not been updated for more than five years, the last dengue outbreak in TN was in 2014.
Though the worst dengue outbreak was recorded in 2017 in Tamil Nadu, the website finds no mention of the epidemic. In 2017, dengue affected more than 23,000 people and led to the death of 65 people in the State, according to the Health Department.
This is not the case with the state vector-borne disease control programme alone. Most state-run health and welfare programmes have specific websites but the data remains age-old due to lack of upgradation.
The only health directorate of the State Health Department that has the latest updates is the Directorate of Medical Education with statistics from 2018 uploaded.
The National Health Mission Tamil Nadu website has data on maternal care till 2010 only, while the information on immunization schedule and statistics are updated till 2015. The objectives and strategies of the family welfare department until 2011 are listed very well on the website of the department, but the other healthcare programmes find no mention on the web.
The Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project (TNHSP), claimed to be the most tech-savvy department of the State Health Department working on the digital medical record projects, has tender details till 2014. Though TNHSP had signed a memorandum of understanding with the World Bank for various developmental projects in Tamil Nadu this year, the website is not so developed as it only talks of the World Bank project in 2005.
Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) is authorised to update the websites provided to them from the specific directorate. However, senior officials from TNMSC say that the role of TNMSC is only to upload the information when provided by the directorate and only the necessary information is usually updated.
“The websites are not maintained regularly for all the links on the website of any directorate. Any contemporary issue, statistics, project details or tender details are shared with us by the particular directorate for upgradation on the website. The general information and content has remained the same as it was when the website was created,” the official added.