In Nicaragua, one of the poorest Central American countries, 27 of each 1000 children die before reaching the age of 5 years. This is down from the rate of 68 reported in 1990, but still unacceptably high compared to the rate of 3 - 8 in more developed countries (see the graph below).
About 25% of this infant mortality is caused by water-borne diseases, and the percentage is higher in rural areas.
Providing clean drinking water as part of a general improvement in sanitation practices is proven to have a major impact on this infant mortality.
Clean water; a protected spring, La Mina, Cuá-Bocay, 2000
To this end TASCA focuses on providing and supporting the water testing capabilities necessary to ensure that new and existing water systems continue to supply uncontaminated water.
TASCA also supports other public health laboratory services, including surveillance for HIV, Dengue, Tuberculosis, Chagas, Leptospirosis and antibiotic resistance.