During the late 1970s, Amref Health Africa continued providing mobile clinical and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services. It also started to focus on community-based health care (CBHC) and training community health workers to deliver primary health care. Technical support units for CBHC, MCH, family planning and environmental health were also set up.
Greater emphasis was given to strengthening health systems and staff development, with special attention to health needs identified by communities themselves. Amref Health Africa staff gained experience in planning and the management of health services at a national level – expertise that has since been shared in-house with health ministries (the first was Uganda).
During the mid 1990s, Amref Health Africa increased its focus on HIV/AIDS as it looked set to undo much of the progress made in health during the 20th century, and become a major burden to health systems in poor countries.
To meet this increased health care need, Amref Health Africa prioritised research, capacity building and advocacy relating to:
During the same period, in recognition of the need for partnerships at community level, Amref Health Africa engaged more with local groups to enable community-based planning, shared identification of issues and priorities, and efficient use of resources.
Amref Health Africa’s current ten-year strategy (2007-2017) focuses on finding ways to link health services to the people that need them by focusing more on people, and less on diseases – making responses tailor-made to specific community needs.