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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

Closing date for SRC nominations extended to 10 August 2011
2011-08-10

Statement by the Independent Elections Agency (IEA)

Yesterday (4 August 2011), the Independent Elections Agency (IEA) decided to extend the nomination period for the election of a Student Representative Council (SRC) for the University of the Free State (UFS) to Wednesday, 10 August 2011.

By 3 August 2011, several nominations had been received for the 12 elective portfolios within the week allowed for nominations. The IEA expresses its appreciation for the number of nominations already received and the general student support for the elections.

However, the IEA considers the time allowed in the elections schedule for nominations to take place as too short. In the interest of allowing as many students as possible to avail themselves for the opportunity to participate in the SRC nomination and so allowing reasonably sufficient time for greater numbers of students to participate in the process, the nomination period has been extended to 13:00 on Wednesday, 10 August 2011.

Nomination forms can be obtained from the Reception Desk at the Student Life Centre and on the Thakaneng Bridge of the university’s Bloemfontein Campus.
 
 
Media Release
10 August 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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