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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 introduces its Study-4-Free at Kovsies Project
2011-01-25

The University of the Free State (UFS) invites all former students who require one or two modules for the completion of a degree, diploma or certificate to complete their studies for free in 2012.

Under the university’s ‘Study-4-Free Project’, former students with a maximum of two outstanding modules may apply for the opportunity of completing those modules free-of-charge. This once-off offer covers only tuition and registration fees.
 
Students will have to meet certain criteria and apply in order to take part in this once-off ‘amnesty’ offer. Only former UFS students who were registered between 2005 and 2010 will be considered. The offer is applicable to Bachelors and Honours degrees, diplomas and certificates with the added condition that the outstanding modules are still part of the university’s current curriculum.
 
Once students are approved to take part in the project, they may only complete their outstanding modules during the 2012 academic year. If a student should fail for any reason to complete the one or two modules in 2012, they will not be able to take up the offer again.
 
Students who meet the above-mentioned criteria can apply by sending the following information to study4free@ufs.ac.za full name and surname, UFS student number, the faculty in which the student was registered and the name of the outstanding degree, diploma or certificate in question must be supplied.
 
The closing date for applications is 31 July 2011.
 
 
Media Release
25 January 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
 

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