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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. 


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SA men's hockey team prepare for Commonwealth Games on UFS soil
2010-09-08

The SA men’s hockey team prepares for the Common Wealth Games on the Astros at the UFS.
Photo: Supplied

For the second time this year the South African men’s hockey team will prepare for a big sporting event on the Astros of the University of the Free State (UFS), this time for the Commonwealth Games that are taking place in Delhi, India. At the beginning of the year South Africa’s number one men’s hockey team, together with the first- and fourth- ranking teams, Germany and the team from The Netherlands; also utilised the UFS’s facilities to prepare for the World Cup that took place earlier this year, also in New Delhi.

This is proof that the UFS is succeeding in its goal: availing world-class facilities to its students and to support sports as a whole in South Africa.

The team will train from Saturday, 4 September until Thursday, 9 September 2010. On Monday and Tuesday evening the UFS men’s hockey team will play a practice match against our national men’s hockey team.

 

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