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On 20th July, as the full scale of West Africa’s Ebola crisis was slowly becoming apparent, a 40-year-old Liberian man took a routine ASKY Airlines flight from Lomé, Togo to Lagos, Nigeria.
The passenger, a government official named Patrick Sawyer, had started his journey in Liberia’s capital Monrovia. He was en route to attend a meeting organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Calabar, southern Nigeria, but never reached his final destination. By the time his plane landed in Lagos, Sawyer was violently ill and required urgent medical attention.
Nigeria’s health minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, later confirmed that this unfortunate individual had become the country’s first Ebola fatality – just one of the more than 2,000 confirmed deaths across the sub-region...