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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

Time is running out for applications for admission at the UFS
2009-11-25

The University of the Free State (UFS) calls on all South African prospective students wishing to study at the UFS in 2010 to submit their applications for admission by no later than 30 November 2009.

The last date for all international students’ applications for 2010 admission was 30 September 2009. All applications received from South African students after the closing date will be considered as late applications and will be handled in a separate process.

Late applications from prospective students will be accepted until 15 January 2010 to accommodate Grade 12 learners who will only receive their results on 7 January 2010.

All South African prospective students who want to apply must pay a non-refundable fee of R150. The duly completed and signed application form must be accompanied by a certified copy of the prospective student’s identity document or passport and a proof of payment of the application fee. The application form of a minor must be signed by his/her parent or guardian. The field of study should be clearly indicated.

The registration of first-time entering first-year students on the Main Campus will be from 19-23 January 2010 in the Callie Human Centre according to a programme.
The registration of senior undergraduate students (that is all students registered at the UFS up until 2009) and postgraduate students will take place from 5-16 January 2010 on a self-service system on the university’s website at www.ufs.ac.za   .

Academic advice for all students during the registration period will be available in the Callie Human Centre and the Multi-Purposes Hall, as well as from the different faculties.
First-time entering first-year students on the Main Campus will be welcomed by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, on Friday, 8 January and Saturday, 9 January 2010, at 09:00 in the Callie Human Centre.

At the Qwaqwa Campus late applications will be accepted until 3 February 2010.

The registration of first-time entering first-year and senior students at this campus will be from 18-22 January 2010 in the Multi-Purpose Hall, also according to a programme. First-time entering first-year students will be welcomed on 11 January 2010.

Lectures for all students will commence on 25 January 2010 on both campuses.

Media release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
24 November 2009

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