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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

More than 800 students graduate at the UFS
2010-09-14

The University of the Free State (UFS) will confer 881 degrees and diplomas during its Spring graduation and diploma ceremonies that will be held in the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus.

The various graduation ceremonies will take place on Wednesday, 15 and Thursday, 16 September 2010.

The UFS will award 566 degrees, 41 doctorates and 274 diplomas. Two honorary doctorates will also be conferred on Prof. Kalie Strydom and Dr Monty Jones.

For more than two decades Prof. Strydom has been associated with excellence in educational research, especially in the field of higher education. Dr Jones is the Executive Director of FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa). He is a Sierra Leonean and has spent the last 32 years of his career in Africa working in international agricultural research for development institutions.

The full programme is as follows:

  • Wednesday, 15 September 2010:

    -At 14:30 266 students from the Faculties of the Humanities, Health Sciences, Education, Law and Theology will receive their degrees and 20 doctorates will be conferred. On the same day Prof. Strydom will receive an honorary doctorate and Mrs Alida Maria Dippenaar a Chancellor’s Medal. She was during her career one of the pioneer senior female managers and a member of the Executive Management and the Senate at the UFS.
  • Thursday, 16 September 2010:

    - 08:30: 300 degrees and 21 doctorates will be awarded in the Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Dr Jones will also receive an honorary doctorate on the same day.

- 14:30: 274 diplomas will be conferred on students from all faculties.

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

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