by Otobong Solomon
A Professor of Food and Industrial Microbiology Prof. Comfort U. Inyang of Department of Microbiology, University of Uyo has recently made it known to the general public that it is not all the microorganisms are bad.
Delivering the 62nd inaugural lecture of the University of Uyo entitled: Ubiquitous Microbes: we are not all bad” which held at the 1000 Seaters Auditorium, University of Uyo Main Campus, Prof. Comfort U. Inyang noted that human beings and microbes are not far from each other as microbes are just anywhere and everywhere in and around us which has even added 1.5kg to human weights, saying that God has made it in such a way that no human being can avoid them or live without them or can function or exist without the microbes.
Prof. Inyang opined that microbes serve a world of possibilities in the areas of food shortages, climate change, fossil fuel scarcity, environmental degradation and in the field of medicine, especially in the production of antibiotics to control the bad ones, adding that due to the fact that human beings are living in a time that calls out for change and for sustainable solution to ever more sever problems, microbes are playing an increasingly important role in the search for the answers, and that is why “they are not all bad”.
Inyang stated that Food Microbiology is the “Mother” of all the Microbiology in that without food there will be no human existence, as ceasation of air leads to instant death, withdrawal of food will linger but eventually cause death of the individual.
“immediately microorganisms are mentioned anywhere, the impression of that they are very bad, people immediately think of the infectious diseases, the spoilage they cause to foods, crops and the death they cause”
“microorganisms have become synonymous with squalor and sickness, they become foes for us to annihilate and repel , we now know that this view is wrong”.
According to Prof. Inyang, microbes are everywhere in human body (both external and internal organs) our environment “industry and even food and their function are eminent to human existence, without microbes and their products or activities, many lives will be lost to wasting diseases, food insecurity challenges will persist and our dear environment which is borrowed asset for the generations to come will not be preserved. This informed the choice of the topic, Ubiquitous Microbes: we are not all bad”
She however thanked God who saw her through and also thanked the university management for the privilege giving her to prove herself as a professor and also thanked her family members, friends, colleagues and everyone who contributed to her success.
She called on the general public to join the Microbiologists in partnering with microbes to control their negative characteristics and harness the beneficial ones and also requested that University of Uyo should empower the Department of Microbiology to start production of yoghurt and other fermented products using locally sourced starter culture to enhance its IGR in order to remain functional.
Inyang also called on the federal government to increase funding of researches in the university is hereby advocated in order not to bury great potentials in the academia.
Speaking during the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Uyo, Prof. Enefiok Essien being represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Prof. Godfrey Udo stated that it is the place of the inaugural lecturer to inaugurate herself into professorship position, to prove to the university community, family and the entire society why she is a lecturer.
Prof. Essien used the opportunity in commending the inaugural lecturer of her competency in delivering the lecture and the ability to enlighten people more about microorganisms, adding that more research should be done in order to see if microbes can make human beings live longer instead of shortening lives and also thanked everyone who sat through the event.
While presenting the inaugural lecturer to the audience, Prof. Kalu Uka revealed that Prof. Comfort Inyang has attended and presented papers in many conferences, both home and abroad, including Nigeria, Europe and USA from 1999 to the latest one in August 2017.
Prof. Uka pointed that Prof. Comfort Inyang has published over 40 Articles reputable professional journals both nationally and internationally.