Sierra Leone has begun to rebuild its shattered healthcare system after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that an outbreak of Ebola is over.

Since the west African country recorded its first case in May of last year, 3589 people have died, including 221 medics, and there have been 8,704 infections.

Among those who contracted the deadly disease was Scots nurse Pauline Cafferkey, from south Lanarkshire, who volunteered at a Save the Children treatment centre in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone.

She is still being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in north-west London, months after she was thought to have fought off the Ebola infection.

More than 150 NHS volunteers were deployed at the height of the crisis to help contain the outbreak.

WHO declared the end of the epidemic yesterday because it had been 42 days – twice the maximum Ebola incubation period - since the last confirmed patient returned two consecutive negative tests and was discharged from hospital.

The announcement was made at a ceremony attended by President Ernest Bai Koroma and UN World Health Organization (WHO) representative Anders Nordstrom.

It prompted scenes of mass celebration in the country, which is now in a three-month period of enhanced surveillance.

Thousands of people gathered under the Cotton Tree, a huge tree in the centre of the capital, Freetown, overnight for a candlelight vigil organised by women's groups to pay tribute to health workers who died.

Ebola killed more than 11,300 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and about 28,500 were infected, according to WHO data.

Liberia was declared free of Ebola on Sept 3, while a handful of cases remain in Guinea.

Britain co-ordinated safe burial efforts in Sierra Leone helped to prevent further spread, working with the country’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Adam Smith International and other aid agencies to train and supervise the teams on the ground.

The roving Ebola burial team in Freetown buried more than 1,000 victims of the outbreak, with the final burial held last week.

UK aid supported more than 100 burial teams across Sierra Leone to provide safe and dignified internments.

It was one of the most dangerous jobs to take on – but also one of the most decisive in helping prevent the disease's spread.

The UK committed £427 million to ending the epidemic and was the largest bilateral donor to Sierra Leone.

More than 1,500 British military personnel, 150 NHS volunteers and more than 100 Public Health England staff were deployed to assist.

Britain’s Department for International Development will now send NHS workers back to Sierra Leone to help rebuild the healthcare system.

They will train Sierra Leonean doctors, nurses and support staff to both help protect the country against another outbreak and help young doctors get the skills and expertise they need to get the healthcare system back on its feet.

Consultant Physician in Acute Medicine, Terry Gibson, is already in the country supporting junior doctors.

Dr Gibson said: “Things have changed since I've been here. I've seen my colleagues' standards of practice improve greatly.

“There's a grave shortage of doctors here - not least due to Ebola and the colleagues that died.”

One teenage Ebola survivor has been inspired to study medicine by the doctors who saved her life.

Celina Kamanda lost her mother to the disease and soon after the 18-year-old also took ill.

She went to Hastings where she was tested and treated at a centre backed by UK aid.

She was the only one of her family to go. Tragically, her father, brother and cousins remained, and also fell victim to Ebola.

Celina has now fully recovered and has returned to her studies.

She said: “I like seeing my friends at school. It helps me forget about the past.

“I would like to be a doctor. I want to save lives. When I was in the treatment centre, I saw people suffering.

“But I have passed through the experience, and now I want to be able to look after others.”

UK aid will support a longer term package of help for Ebola survivors, helping them to restore their livelihoods, making sure they have access to healthcare and tackling the stigma they may face when reintegrating into their communities.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “I am hugely proud of the brave British medics, scientists, military and aid workers who worked tirelessly and put their lives on the line to help Sierra Leone defeat Ebola.

“Our two countries came together in the fight against this devastating disease. Together, our efforts saved thousands of lives in West Africa and helped protect the UK from an epidemic that was only ever a plane ride away.

“Sierra Leone has made tremendous progress in tackling the outbreak and we will continue to stand by them.

“By strengthening health systems, funding vaccine trials and working with survivors we are helping the country get back on its feet and prepare for future crises, so it can look ahead to a brighter future.”