Eloisa Pentecotisa was begging and sleeping rough on the streets of Yaoundé, hearing voices and eating out of bins, when health workers found her. Eight months on, she lives at Le Village de L'amour – the Village of Love – where she receives therapy and free medication for schizophrenia. Founded in May 2021, the village is the first and only free care center for homeless patients in Cameroon. "Our main goal here is to treat mentally ill people living homeless on the streets in Yaoundé," says village head Dr Justine Laure Menguene. Of the 100-plus patients, 95% have schizophrenia. Once stable, patients are given therapy and taught life skills. The center has treated more than 630 patients and currently looks after 114 people in-house and a further 350 outpatients. In 2020 Cameroon, a country of 28 million, had only 12 psychiatrists, 300 psychologists and 150 mental health nurses.

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