Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Church Mirror 2010 kicks off from the Free State
2010-10-04

Prof. Kobus Schoeman

 Prof. Kobus Schoeman, Head of the Department of Practical Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS), is one of the project leaders of Church Mirror, a unique research project in the family of Dutch Reformed Churches in South Africa.

Over the years Church Mirror has been established as an important source of information for the Dutch Reformed Church. The church is provided with information by means of surveys that assist in reflection on the church as well as congregations’ role and functioning.

The 2010 survey will be no exception. The survey is conducted on the instruction of the General Synod and in collaboration with the Department of Practical Theology at the UFS. This year, the project is also extended to other churches in the Dutch Reformed Church family for the first time.

The questionnaire forms part of the National Church Life Survey, which is done internationally. The questionnaire is completed by everybody who attends a church service on a specific Sunday. Questions that are asked include, “What do the members of the congregation think of their congregation and church services?”, “Are outsiders welcome?” and “Do we care about the community?”

The first survey was done amongst churchgoers at a service in 2006.

Church Mirror is an important research project to outline the profile of mainstream churches in South Africa and it can play a major role in congregations’ planning and reflection upon themselves.
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept