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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 honours its top sport achievers
2010-10-21

KovsieSport at the University of the Free State (UFS) will honour its top sport achievers at a glamorous ceremony at the Centenary Complex on the UFS campus on Thursday, 21 October 2010.

The Kovsie Sport Stars 2010 awards are divided into two categories, one for the top men’s sportsman at the university and one for the top women’s counterpart.

The nominees for this year are:

Women’s category:

  • Lesley-Ann George – Vice-Captain of the South African Hockey team that took part in the recent Commonwealth Games in India.
  • Tanya Basson – The current African Judo champion in the under 52 kg division and Member of the South African Judo teams that took part in the Kata and Kurash World Championships as well as the Commonwealth Games.
  • Nelmaré Loubser – Represented South Africa at the Triathlon and Duathlon World Championships and a member of the South African Prestige Biathle team.

Male category:

  • Thuso Mpuang – Represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championship and the World Continental Games as part of the SA relay team.
  • Boy Soke – Represented South Africa at the Southern African Half-marathon Championships and a member of the South African Half-marathon team competing at the World Championships.
  • Bruno Schwalbach – Gold-medal winner for South Africa at the Southern African Karate Championships in the senior Kata division.
  • Windy Jonas – Represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championships.
  • Wiaan Viljoen – Represented South Africa in Badminton at the Thomas and Uber Cup, the All African Championships where he won a silver and a bronze medal, as well as the World Badminton Championships, reaching the 32nd round.
  • Boom Prinsloo – A member of the South African Sevens rugby team that competed in the Commonwealth Games.
  • Johan Cronjé – Currently ranked 38th in the world 1500 m rankings and represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championships.
  • Philip van der Walt – Member of the Vodacom Cheetahs rugby team as well as of the South African Sevens team that competed at the Commonwealth Games.

 
Media Release
Issued by:  Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (acting)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
21 October 2010

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