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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

Ensure your place at the UFS
2010-10-27

The University of the Free State (UFS) appeals to all prospective South African students who want to come and study at the UFS in 2011 to submit their applications no later than Tuesday, 30 November 2010.

The UFS is aware of the fact that learners will not have received their final Grade 12 results by Tuesday, 30 November 2010; therefore provisional admission will be granted based on learners’ most recent Grade 12 results. Final admission will take place upon receipt of the final Grade 12 results, which will be available early in January 2011.

Prospective students can obtain application forms for admission at the following places:

  1. The UFS’s web site at www.ufs.ac.za,
  2. The Information Office (Unit for Prospective Students) at the Thakaneng Bridge on the UFS’s Main Campus in Bloemfontein,
  3. You may also send an e-mail to info@ufs.ac.za or
  4. Phone 051 401 3000 and the necessary forms will be posted to you.

Senior undergraduate students (that is all students who were registered up to and during 2010 at the UFS) as well as post-graduate students, must self-register electronically on-line from Monday, 1 November 2010 until Tuesday, 4 January 2011. This includes master’s and doctoral students.

In order to encourage senior students to register online, the UFS offers 20 laptops as incentives for the senior students who successfully register online from 1 November 2010. These laptops will be handed over to the winners after the registration process in 2011.

Registration of first-year students:

The Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, will welcome first-year students on Friday, 14 January and Saturday, 15 January 2011, respectively, in the Callie Human Centre. The Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences, the Humanities and Education will be welcomed on 14 January 2011 and the students of the Faculties of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Law and Theology shall be welcomed on 15 January 2011. The compulsory orientation programme for new first-years will also then commence.

From 17 to 21 January 2011 first-year students will receive academic advice at the Callie Human Centre, whereafter they will be referred for self-registration. These processes will take place according to the set timetable. This timetable is available in the Kovsie Guide that will be sent to learners as soon as we have received their applications, as well as on the web site of the UFS at www.ufs.ac.za/register2011.

First-year students’ fees must be paid prior to arrival on 14 and 15 January 2011.

Registration of senior students:

Senior students who experience problems with the electronic on-line self-registration process have the opportunity to resolve problems within a programme on campus from Wednesday, 5 January until Wednesday, 12 January 2011. This programme will be sent out to students and is also available at www.ufs.ac.za/register2011. The specific scheduled day for senior students to resolve problems is the last and only day to resolve the problem.

Senior students can also contact 051 401 9111 for more information in this regard.

Students may register for prescribed modules for 2011, even though the November 2010 examination results are not yet available. Changes resulting from examination results that are made available later can be done up to and including 28 January 2011.

In terms of applications for senior students, only students who have interrupted a calendar year of study need to re-apply for admission.

Registration of students at the UFS’s Qwaqwa Campus:

Senior and first-year students of the UFS’s Qwaqwa Campus register from Wednesday, 12 January until Friday, 28 January 2011 in the Nelson Mandela Hall on this campus.

Registration of students at the UFS South Campus:

First-year students from the UFS’s South Campus in the University Preparation Programme and the Extended Programme (only Natural and Agricultural Sciences) register from Monday, 24 January till Friday, 28 January 2011 in the Arena Hall on the South Campus.

Students who have successfully completed the University Preparation Programme register with the first-year students on the UFS Main Campus on Friday, 14 and Saturday, 15 January 2011 – according to faculties (cf. paragraph 6).

Lectures for all students shall commence on Monday, 24 January 2011.

MEDIA RELEASE
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
26 October 2010

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