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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Chakalaka can have side effects for these patients
2010-06-24

Chakalaka is a sauce many South Africans cannot imagine a meal without, but research at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) has shown that it can have serious side effects and even compromise the treatment of leukaemia patients.

Prof. Vernon Louw from the Department of Internal Medicine at the Faculty says that tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are a new group of drugs providing targeted therapy for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). It vastly contributes to the survival of patients, but it has side effects like vasodilatation. Research has shown that spices like chakalaka may aggravate vasodilatation (widening of veins) with patients on these drugs.

“These spices produce serious oedema (water retention) and headaches. We have found that discontinuing the intake of spices allows some patients to maintain therapeutic doses of TKIs.” Chakalaka contains mainly garlic and chilli.

CML represents up to 20% of all leukaemia patients in South Africa and up to 450 new cases are reported every year.

In the study symptoms of severe headache and oedema disappeared within days of discontinuing the use of chakalaka.

Prof. Louw says it is important for oncologists to ask their patients about their intake of spices and garlic when they are on TKIs. It is also advisable to enquire about the use of complementary alternative medicine as the interaction of these medicines in cancer treatment is not known.

Media Release

Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za
23 June 2010
 

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