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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

Intervarsity get-together in Potch
2005-07-26

The largest and most enjoyable Kovsie get-together of all times will be held in Potchefstroom on 12 August. Kovsies from everywhere will attend the Kovsie Intervarsity Reunion in Potchefstroom so that everybody can know, once and for all, that the UFS’s Shimlas are better than the PUKKE. The reunion will be held at the Clubhouse of the Potchefstroon Town Rugby Club at Olien Park at 18:30 on Friday 12 August (and for those with real stamina the whole weekend long).

The cost of R65 per person includes a delicious barbecued meal. A cash bar will also be available. Most of the other old Kovsies you would like to see again will be there, so do not miss out on this event!
There is also a camping site for caravans and tents are available on the site for those who wish to watch sports events and visit the whole weekend long.  Please feel free to contact Anton Mostert at 082 467 1702 to reserve accommodation.

To book your place, contact Jeannette Boshoff-Jansen at 051-401-3594.

Make sure that you do not miss the Kovsie get-together of the year!!!
 

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