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  1. ITV Report

How is Britain fighting the Ebola crisis in West Africa?

Members of 22 Field Hospital prepare for deployment to Sierra Leone Photo: MoD

Almost 100 military medics arrive in Sierra Leone today to spearhead Britain's response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

The 91 staff from Hampshire’s 22 Field Hospital are among the first of 750 Ministry of Defence personnel due to be deployed in the coming months.

The task force will set up and run a 92-bed treatment facility in Kerrytown about 30 miles (50km) from the capital, Freetown.

Local builders working on the construction of the UK Ebola Treatment Unit in Kerrytown in Sierra Leone Credit: Staff Sergeant Tom Robinson RLC, Crown copyright

British troops will also provide support to a World Health Organisation (WHO)-led training centre and the Sierra Leone Government.

Britain has pledged £125 million to support the outbreak, which has claimed more than 4,000 lives according to the WHO.

The number that left from RAF Brize Norton today includes general nurses, medical technicians, specialist nurses, doctors, infectious disease consultants as well as drivers, chefs, administrators and logistical staff.

Their commanding officer admitted the deployment was not exactly typical:

Although this is a bit different and provides us with a challenge we are perfectly suited to this kind of task. I firmly believe we can make a significant difference and it will be professionally rewarding for those taking part ... We need to provide sufficient reassurance to healthcare workers that will encourage them to come and help defeat this disease.

– Lieutenant Colonel Alison McCourt, 22 Field Hospital

Ahead of their deployment, members of 22 Field Hospital went through a nine-day intensive training course where they had to deal with life-like scenarios to prepare them for the task in hand.

RFA Argus will support Britain's response in Sierra Leone Credit: MoD

Britain is sending three Royal Navy Merlin helicopters and crew, to help move equipment and personnel, supported by RFA Argus.

The Royal Navy vessel, which was docked in Falmouth ahead of its crossing this week, carries 350 people including medics and Royal Marines.

The UK has also been delivering essential supplies to the region including vehicles, water tanks, generators, tents and protective clothing.

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