The UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced plans to construct a new 62-bed medical treatment centre to treat victims of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

The centre will be run by military engineers and medical staff.

The first phase of the centre is expected to be constructed and operational within eight weeks.

The new facility will include a 50-bed medical unit to treat victims of the disease. It will be staffed by international health workers and Sierra Leonean medical staff.

In addition, the facility will comprise a 12-bed treatment centre for health workers, which will provide specialist care for them to continue to respond to the disease as safely and efficiently as possible.

The UK Government, along with international non-governmental organisation Save the Children, is developing a long-term plan to manage and operate the facility, once it commences operations.

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"The first phase of the centre is expected to be constructed and operational within eight weeks."

Greening said: "Britain is at the forefront of the global effort to tackle this deadly outbreak, having already committed £25m of support, including frontline treatment and funding for medical research to develop a vaccine.

"The scale of the problem requires the entire international community to do more to assist the affected countries, which is why the UK is working with the government of Sierra Leone to build a new medical treatment facility near their capital Freetown."

Save the Children chief executive Justin Forsyth said: "Ebola threatens thousands of people’s lives across West Africa and could set back development many decades.

"The key to combating this epidemic is backing front line health workers and underpinning a fractured health system in Sierra Leone – without urgent action to assist medics, many more children and their families will suffer and die from this most appalling and tragic disease."

Image: The UK is to build a new 62-bed facility for Ebola outbreak victims in Sierra Leone. Photo: courtesy of