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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

Nominations for Kovsie Alumni Awards
2010-07-08

It is once again time to nominate candidates for the three Kovsie Alumni Awards annually presented by the University of the Free State (UFS).
Nominations are awaited for the Kovsie Alumnus of the Year Award, Cum Laude Award and the Alumni Award for Exceptional Service to the UFS.
The Kovsie Alumnus of the Year Award honours the outstanding achievements of a Kovsie alumnus on national or international level. The Cum Laude Award is occasionally bestowed on an alumnus for outstanding service or achievement at regional, national or international level in his/her field of work. The Alumni Award for Outstanding Service to the UFS is occasionally made to any person (not necessarily an alumnus) who has rendered exceptional service to the university.
Any alumnus can submit a written nomination for the above-mentioned awards. At least five other alumni must second the nomination. A comprehensive motivation and brief Curriculum Vitae of the candidate must accompany the nomination. The candidate’s full address and telephone number must also be provided.

Nominations can be submitted to Annanda Calitz, Alumni Awards, PO Box 2319 Bloemfontein 9300 or 086 629 6820 or ficka@ufs.ac.za . The closing date for submission of nominations is 23 July 2010.

Last year the winner of the 2008/09 Kovsie Alumnus of the Year award was Mr Gert Grobler. Dr Gert Marincowitz and Sekoati Tsubane (Kabelo in 7de Laan) received the Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award. Prof. Johan Grobbelaar, Senior Professor at the Department of Plant Sciences and Prof. André Venter, Chief Specialist at Paediatrics and Child Health, both received the Kovsie Alumni National Executive Award.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
8 July 2010
 

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