Prof. Chukwunenye Anene, on Tuesday advised Nigerians to harness insects as alternative rich sources of protein to other sources of protein or `bush meat’ causing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Anene, who is the Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences in Anambra State University, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Igbariam near Onitsha, Anambra.
The don said that with targeted research it would be possible to convert and harness some insects to produce rich protein for a very large population.
Anene, who is a Professor of Entomology and Insect Pest Management, noted that it was regrettable that very delicious and well-known sources of protein (animal meats) in Africa, especially West Africa, are today dreaded by people.
“Insects should no longer be called pests but treated fairly as food substances and alternative source of protein.
“And where the regular protein from meat is been jettisoned by many, insect could as well replace these sources of protein for man.
“So there is a need for a co-ordinated research in this direction since it had been found out that some insects, which are helpful to man, have high protein content”, he said.
Anene, however, urged humans to stop the indiscriminate killing of insects as they play vital role in the existence of man.
The don also advised to health workers not to subdue all insects at the same time through their in-door and out-door non-selective residual spraying as well as other unhealthy environmental practices.
Some Africans, especially those in the West Africa, have stopped eating animal meat from the wild (bush meat), which is an available and rich source of protein, due to the EVD traceable to some wild animals.
WHO has reported that the disease has claimed the lives of about 2,500 people in the West African region since it broke-out in March.