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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. 


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Colleagues from School of MNSTE invited to China
2017-01-01

Description:MNSTE   Tags: MNSTE

From left to right: Dr NJP Teis, Mr SJ Coetzee, Ms MA
Tlali & Ms Z Mobara

The Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA) in partnership with the Zhejiang Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering has invited 4 colleagues from the UFS and 50 from all over the country to attend a Lecturer Developmental Programme in Shanghai, China. This programme will run over a period of four weeks (15 August–10 September) whereby lecturers can attend various focus areas such as Machinery and Electrical Skills (CNC Processing), 3D Printing and Robotics and Mechatronics. This offers lecturers an opportunity to upgrade their skills set that will improve their teaching and learning practices. Dr NJP Teis and Ms Z Mobara will be attending the Robotics and Mechatronics course and Mr SJ Coetzee and Ms MA Tlali will attend the 3D Printing. Course to enable them to develop the innovative skills needed in the current technology teaching practices.

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