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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 NWU Intervarsity offers many firsts
2010-08-06

The Intervarsity between the University of the Free State (UFS) and North-West University (NWU) kicked off today.

“We are excited to present the 68th Intervarsity on our Main Campus in Bloemfontein and look forward to a weekend filled with various matches and events,” says Mr Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS.

This year’s Intervarsity is boasting with a few new additions to the programme. “We have invited the other campuses of the NWU to join the Intervarsity and our Qwaqwa Campus was for the first time also involved. The additions to the programme include a major debating championship lead by our Debating Society as well as a Hip Hop event tomorrow afternoon,” says Mr Buys.

According to Mr Buys, this year as many as possible of the residences are involved in sporting events such as soccer, hockey, rugby and netball.

The UFS also made accommodation available to students from NWU in its residences and has re-introduced the Rag-Buddy-bus system to provide transport support to students who are attending private functions in Bloemfontein to ensure their safe return to the campus.

Mr Buys also indicated that: “Intervarsity should be a celebration of all aspects of student life and we aim to increase the variety of programmes and diversity of audiences that participate in our Intervarsity programmes.”

“All our students, staff and members of the public are invited to attend the various events and matches. I encourage you to be proud and worthy ambassadors of the university community,” he says.

Media Release:
Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za 
6 August 2010

 

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