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14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

UFS to accredit providers of Off-Campus Accommodation to students in Bloemfontein
2017-06-30

The University of the Free State (UFS) has embarked on a process to accredit off-campus accommodation service providers in Bloemfontein who provide accommodation to its students.

“The decision to accredit off-campus accommodation service providers comes from a concern from the university management about the safety of students and the conditions under which some of our students live in off-campus accommodation. Student accommodation is a significant aspect of the success of the UFS and consequently good quality accommodation is important for each individual student to be successful in his/her studies,” says Mr Quintin Koetaan, Senior Director: Housing and Residence Affairs at the UFS.

The accreditation process entails a list of primary requirements, drafted with the cognisance of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, in terms of off-campus accommodation to which private providers must adhere in order to be accredited by the university. The requirements are in line with the Policy on the Minimum Norms and Standards for Student Housing at Public Universities (Government Gazette 39238, dated 29 September 2015).

According to Koetaan, the norms and standards as set out in the policy establish the foundation and assessment criteria for such accreditation of service providers by the UFS. “It has become necessary for the UFS to have a policy on off-campus accommodation, in order to protect the rights and interests of our students and that of the university,” says Koetaan.

Some of the primary requirements for accreditation by the UFS include the number of students that may be accommodated in each room, the quality of kitchens and kitchenettes, the number of ablution facilities, the existence of common rooms and house rules, general maintenance and cleaning, compliance with  relevant national, regional, and municipal legislative requirements regulating health and safety, provision for adequate access to the facility/establishment in case of medical and/or psychological emergency assistance being required by students, and the provision for access to emergency electricity and water facilities. Off-campus private accommodation service providers must also be in possession of approved Municipal building plans of their student accommodation facilities, as well as evidence confirming their compliance with these plans.

“Landlords and agents are also advised to become more involved in their student homes and to ensure that their properties are in good condition and secure enough for students to live in,” says Koetaan.

Off-campus private accommodation service providers have until 31 July 2017 to apply for accreditation. More information and application documentation for accreditation can be obtained by sending an email to housing@ufs.ac.za

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

 

 

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