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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

Art collection reflects values of SA Bill of Rights
2017-09-14

Description: Zanele Muholi Art Exibition Tags: Zanele Muholi Art Exibition 

One of the photos that are on exhibition at the
Johannes Stegmann Gallery.
Photo: Supplied

Our human rights are enshrined in the constitution. This is exactly what the Art of Human Rights collection reflects, as it responds to the values and ideals instilled in the South African Bill of Rights.

This collection is currently on display at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery at the University of the Free State (UFS). The exhibition opened on 23 August and will run until 23 September 2017.

Work of renowned artists and poets on display
The collection features renowned artists and poets such as Virginia Mckenny, Busiswa Gqulu, Andries Botha, Kobus Moolman, and many more. There are also articles from prominent South Africans such as the late Ahmed Kathrada, Mike van Graan, Justice Edward Cameron, and former UFS Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen.

Collection engages 27 clauses in Bill of Rights
The Art of Human Rights is a print portfolio which is an initiative of Art for Humanity (AFH). It is a non-profit organisation, based in Durban, which engages with cultural production, specifically in the visual arts, to promote human rights awareness regionally and globally.

Twenty-nine South African artists and 27 poets have created artwork for the collection. They engaged with the 27 clauses of the Bill of Rights by looking at socio-economic issues which is still prevalent in the democratic diaspora of SA. The collection addresses issues such as racism, poverty, poor education, and lack to efficient health care. These are all threats to our young democracy.

Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery hours (Bloemfontein Campus): Monday to Friday 08:30–16:30

Description: Andries Botha Art exibition Tags: Andries Botha Art exibition

 

 

 

 

 

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