Traditionally, the care and support of disadvantaged groups was in the past taken care of by the extended family. However, due to economic hardships, the traditional means of looking after the needy has eroded and this has been exacerbated by the prevalence of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, the covid 19 pandemic and other socio-economic problems that have left many households vulnerable. In response, interventions have been put in place to ensure that the vulnerable are cushioned. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services through the Department of Social Welfare is committed to improving the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. While institutional care is considered as a measure of last resort in dealing with the disadvantaged, various unfavourable social and economic circumstances render some people  stranded and in need of institutional care.


Matero After Care Centre (MACC) situated in Lusaka District was established in 1965 as the country’s only specialized institution for discharged mental patients from Chainama Hills Hospital.

The Center was a “half-way house” between the hospital and the community for mental health users from Chainama Hills Hospital. However, in the recent past the Center has been used to shelter stranded persons due to the influx of such persons. The Center is also home to many older persons, women without support and the chronically ill persons some of whom have stayed long at the institution due to failure by the Department to trace their relatives.

Admission of other vulnerable groups to the Centre other than the mental health users is aimed at countering the effects of destitution that vulnerable people might suffer when left on their own. The Centre provides the residents with temporal shelter, food, health care and support of varying kinds. The Centre also offers psychosocial counselling, occupational therapy, recreation, empowerment as well as repatriation and reintegration


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