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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 Centenary 2004/05: Sports Festival
2004-05-07

Win or lose! It is part of sportsmanship. The Kovsie Sports Festival will take place on Thursday, 13 May to Saturday, 15 May 2004, as part of the UFS’s centenary celebrations. Through this event, Kovsiesport will focus on the many sports opportunities offered on campus. Fit or unfit, first team or no team, there is an opportunity for every staff member and student to participate.

This exceptional sporting weekend will start on Thursday, 13 May 2004 at 17:15, with a 2,5km fun run (or walk) on the campus. It will start at Pellies Park (the first official rugby field on campus). Men and women will take part separately in five different categories. They are:

  • Lecturing staff members
  • Administrative staff members
  • Support service staff members
  • Hostel residents
  • Alumni
     

After the fun day on Thursday, the serious sports activities will commence. Different league matches are scheduled to take place from Friday, 14 May to Saturday afternoon, 15 May 2004. The Northern Tertiary Tennis League, as well as the Cross Country City League will take place. Hockey, netball, cricket, squash, basket ball, rugby and soccer matches have also been scheduled. The Shimla’s City Cup match will take place on Saturday afternoon on Shimla Park.

After the sports activities on Saturday evening, we will have another chance to socialize. Medix Residence is organising a special Idols concert at 19:00 in the Callie Human Centre as part of this fun weekend. Idols from 2002 and 2003 will perform. They are Brandon October, Anke Pietrangelli, Poseletso Sejosingoe and Bianca le Grange. Tickets are available at Computicket (Greyhound stall, Tourist Centre in Park Way).

The festival will be a weekend to relax and enjoy. Please participate in the fun walk, support Kovsiesport and join the Idols in an evening of song.

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