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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 receives record number of applications
2011-12-31

The University of the Free State (UFS) is looking forward to the start of the new academic year in January 2012, when thousands of new students will be joining the Kovsie family.

The UFS received almost 13 000 applications for studies in 2012. This is an increase of about 80% compared to the total number of applications received in 2010 for studies in 2011.

This increase is partly attributed to the university’s new method in approaching prospective students and the marketing initiatives followed during 2011. These included visits to various schools in the country by the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen.

“This shows that the UFS is becoming a preferred place of study. Unfortunately, we can only take in about 4 000 first-years from these applications. We will, of course, choose the best and most diverse class of students,” says Prof. Jansen.

The university’s marketing initiatives will be intensified next year where students will take part as ambassadors in the university’s student recruitment campaigns for 2013.

Mr.Rudi Buys, The Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS, says Prof. Jansen’s visit to various schools in the country was very successful. This will be continued in 2012 and student leaders from residences, associations as well as the Student Representative Council will accompany him on these visits during the course of the year.

“These learners, just like our students, are part of a new generation of new democratic South Africans. Our students are excellent examples of youth leadership in the country and we are very excited about all our initiatives,” Mr Buys said.

The UFS is aware of the fact that learners will only receive their final Grade 12 results in January 2012. Final admission will therefore only be granted upon the submission of a certified copy of the matriculation results. Fax these results to 086 586 8947 or e-mail to applications@ufs.ac.za  as soon as it is available.

Important dates for Bloemfontein students

  • Friday and Saturday 13 & 14 January 2012: Welcoming of new first-years
  • Sunday 15 January: Gateway College life programme (Bloemfontein edition) begins)
  • Monday 16 January 2012: Registration starts 

Important dates for Qwaqwa students

  • Thursday 12 January 2012: Arrival of first-years
  • Friday 13 January 2012: Gateway College Life programme (Qwaqwa edition) begins.
  • Monday 16 January 2012: Registration starts

For more information, Bloemfontein students can contact Student Affairs at 051 401 9102 or send an e-mail to Cornelia Faasen at faasenc@ufs.ac.za . Qwaqwa students can contact Dulcie Malimabe at 058 718 5018 or send an e-mail to malimabedp@qwa.ufs.ac.za  

Media Release
Issued by:
Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Telephone: +27 (0) 51 401 2584
+27 (0) 83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 (0) 51 444 6393
Web: www.ufs.ac.za
 

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