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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 appoints advertising agencies
2005-08-19

The University of the Free State (UFS) has awarded its marketing and communication account to a unique joint venture between two advertising agencies.

The agencies involved are the Durban-based TBWA and the Bloemfontein-based agency called C-squared (which stands for Consumer Connectedness).

According to the UFS Director of Marketing, Dr Ivan van Rooyen, the idea of a joint venture came about after a rigorous selection process during which both agencies were short-listed.

“The UFS recognised the synergies that could be developed by having an established agency working together with an emerging agency, which at the same time advances black economic empowerment in the Free State,” Dr van Rooyen said.

He said the UFS was keen to increase awareness locally and nationally about the UFS as a quality institution of higher learning in a very competitive market. The two agencies, he said, are well placed to assist the UFS in achieving this objective.
 
Mr Ben Moseme, chief executive of C-squared, said his agency looked forward to working on the UFS account with TBWA.

Mr Daryl Bennewith of TBWA in Durban says the agency is excited about the opportunity of developing the UFS brand and positioning it for the future.

“We are passionate about the role communication can play in changing perceptions and establishing the UFS as the benchmark for all higher education institutions embracing the challenges of transformation,” Mr Bennewith said.

Media release

Issued by:  Lacea Loader
   Media Representative
   Tel:  (051) 401-2584
   Cell:  083 645 2454
   E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za

18 August 2005
 

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