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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. 


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"Learning more about ourselves, our group and the world at large..."
2011-09-28

 

For the latest news from our students abroad, you can follow us on twitter and join us on facebook.

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A group of 98 first-year students from our university departed from the Bloemfontein Campus’s International Offices to the OR Tambo International Airport on Thursday 22 September 2011. From there, they will be flying to New York, USA, via Dubai. Shortly after their arrival in New York, they will be welcomed by Dr Anthony Marx, the president of the NYPL.

The programme, a first in South Africa, kicked off in 2010 with 71 students visiting the USA.

The programme gives students intense exposure to the academic, social, cultural and residential lives of students abroad. A total of 150 UFS students are now part of the programme. The rest of the group of 2011 will leave for universities in Europe and Asia in January 2012.
 

Facebook and twitter comments from our students (unedited):

Thabiso Mike Letselebe (27/09/2011)
"having fun flyin to cleveland"

Eddie Bob DeWet (27/09/2011)
"‎...The city that NEVER sleeps NYC- no jokes!!!"

Marco D. Smit (27/09/2011)
"The group travelling to Minnesota University... We are having a great time, learning more about ourselves, our group and the world at large. Thank you for the grate opportunity!"

Vusi Mesatywa (27/09/2011)
"by Sherilyn Roelofse - Apart from the amazing beauty of the JMU campus (Harrisonburg, Virginia), I am taking in so much! It is amazing to see how everything functions here. I am astounded by the way the food system of the university works - it's so organised! I also love how there is always something happening on campus. For example, tonight we attended a session hosted by the Harrisonburg Fire Department and we had to move through a smoke filled room. drag a deadweight-dummy, and put out a fire. And yes, we have discovered that the American campus life is pretty much exactly what it looks like on movies! ;)"

Cecile Boshoff (26/09/2011)
"Appalacian State University is the best place ever!!!! We are all in love with this place!"
 

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