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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

Curriculum of UFS School of Management best in South Africa
2010-09-17

 Prof. Helena van Zyl

The School of Management at the University of the Free State (UFS)’s curriculum has been rated in the September 2010 edition of the Financial Mail as the best in South Africa for the second successive year. According to Prof. Helena van Zyl, Director of the School of Management, this rating was done by the school’s MBA students and alumni after the Financial Mail had used an independent company to do a survey about business schools in South Africa.

Apart from its curriculum, from the group of 14 accredited business schools in South Africa, the UFS’s School of Management was also rated by its students and alumni as one of the top three schools in terms of the quality of its lecturers (first position), the degree to which the students enjoyed the course (third position) and the value for money that the school offers (third position).

“This positive rating means that we have clients that are really satisfied with our service, and that is important to us. Our students and alumni feel that we add value, that we empower them, and that we open worlds for them,” said Prof. Van Zyl.

“In this environment where business schools are very competitive, it is an important message to send out that students and alumni are satisfied. It influences prospective MBA students’ choice of a future institution where they would want to study.

“The fact that the UFS’s School of Management has received such a good evaluation, even though we are situated in the centre of South Africa and not in a commercial hub like Johannesburg or Pretoria, is a great privilege for us. Also, if the quality of the programme is taken into account, our MBA programme is very affordable and really offers value for money,” said Prof. Van Zyl.

The School of Management, which is the flagship of the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences at the UFS, affords this faculty a specific position in corporate South Africa.

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

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