Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said the UK's efforts to tackle the Ebola crisis are saving lives, but warned:

"The battle has only just begun."

He was speaking after visiting Port Loko in Sierra Leone - an area which has been badly affected by the deadly virus.

His comments yesterday came as the World Health Organisation (WHO) disclosed the number of Ebola deaths has passed 5,000.

Mr Hammond said: "I have seen for myself how UK support in Sierra Leone is saving lives and making a real difference to the fight against Ebola.

"But I have also seen the huge challenges that remain to getting this disease under control.

"Following the opening of Kerry Town (a treatment centre) last week, the facility being built at Port Loko represents the next stage of the UK's efforts to try and get ahead of the spread of the disease.

"We are beginning to see early signs of impact but despite our and others' efforts, this battle has only just begun. We have a long way to go before we see the real benefits.

"The international community cannot afford to slow the pace."

He said David Cameron will address the issue with international leaders at the G20 meeting in Brisbane later this week.

Mr Hammond said: "The Prime Minister will be ­pressing G20 members and other partners in Brisbane to take forward concrete actions to address the immediate crisis as well as support for longer-term economic resilience, and strengthen our resolve to prevent future threats to global health security."

The Foreign Secretary and Armed Forces minister Mark Francois met British military personnel, diplomats and health and aid workers who are part of Britain's contribution to action to bring the spread of the disease under control.

In Porto Loko the UK is building one of the additional five 100-bed treatment centres that will help meet its commitment to provide 700 treatment beds in Sierra Leone.