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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

Kovsies bring home gold, silver and bronze
2011-09-02

 

PC Beneke

Once again, Thuso Mpuang, student at our university was a star at a student athletics meeting. He repeated his good performance of the South African Student Championships in April by winning the silver medal at the 200 m for men at the World Student Games in Shenzhen, China, in the good time of 20.59 seconds. He was also a member of the SA 4 x 100 m relay team, which won the gold medal at the meeting.

Another Kovsie athlete, PC Beneke, was a member of the SA Student team’s 4 x 400 m relay team, which won a bronze medal at the Student Games.

According to Sarina Cronjé from KovsieSport at the UFS, Kovsies can really be proud of these two athletes with their total of three medals at the World Student Championships.

Thuso is again on his way, this time to the World Senior Athletics Championships, where he is going to represent South Africa in the 200 m men’s, as well as the 4 x 100 m relay. The meeting is taking place in Daego, Korea, from 27 August to 4 September 2011.

 

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