Ebola protection
Cameron says more details will be released "in due course" and the award will be issued by summer (Reuters)

The prime minister will recommend to the Queen the creation of a new campaign medal to be awarded to UK forces, including nurses and armed services personal, fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone.

David Cameron made the announcement during Prime Minister's Questions after Tory MP Margot James quizzed him on the subject.

"I know the prime minister shares a gratitude, shared on all sides of the house, for the sacrifices made by our health care professionals and armed forces, including my constituent lieutenant Mark White, for risking their lives to help the people of Sierra Leone to combat the scourge of Ebola," James said.

"Does my right honourable friend agree with me that a way should be found to recognise their bravery?"

The prime minister, who said the workers were saving thousands of lives in Africa, explained that details of the medal will be out "in due course" and said the award should be issued by summer.

"These people are incredibly brave and we owe them an immense debt of gratitude," Cameron added.

The Department for International Development revealed in November that more than 30 NHS volunteer staff from across the UK have joined the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone.

"Our fight against Ebola in West Africa is one of Britain's biggest responses to a disease outbreak," Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for International Development, said.

"Almost a thousand military personnel, scientists, healthcare and aid workers are already on the ground in Sierra Leone working to contain, control and defeat this terrible disease."

She added: "But to beat Ebola we desperately need the experience and dedication of skilled doctors and nurses to care for the thousands of sick and dying patients who are not receiving the treatment they need.

"Every one of these NHS heroes will play a vital role in the fight against Ebola.

"It is only because of their combined efforts that we stand a chance of defeating this disease."

The vicious virus hit the headlines once again in the UK after Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey tested positive for the disease after arriving in Glasgow from Sierra Leone.

Cafferkey, who was working as a volunteer for Save the Children, has since made a recovery after specialist care at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

The NHS has maintained that the risk of catching Ebola in the UK is low.

"It is important to be reassured that although a case has been identified, the overall risk to the public continues to be low," said Professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer.

"We have robust, well-developed and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts.

"The UK system was prepared, and reacted as planned, when this case of Ebola was identified."

The NHS said more than 22,000 cases of Ebola have been confirmed in West Africa, with over 8,800 deaths – a mortality rate of around 40%.