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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

Autumn graduation ceremony one of the biggest yet
2012-03-23

12 March 2012

The autumn graduation ceremony is set to be one of the biggest yet. This will be the most diplomas/certificates up to and including honours degrees that will be awarded at one ceremony.

A total of 629 diplomas/certificates and 2856 degrees will be awarded at the ceremony. The diplomas/certificates and degrees will be awarded in eight different ceremonies in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus from 27 to 30 March 2012.
 
Unlike other years, master’s degrees, doctorates and honorary doctorates will not be awarded during this year’s autumn graduation ceremony. These degrees in all the faculties will be awarded during one ceremony on 14 June 2012.
 
The programme for the respective ceremonies is as follows:
  • On Tuesday 27 March 2012, the Faculty of the Humanities will award 646 qualifications. The Faculty of Education will award 471 qualifications.
  • On Wednesday 28 March 2012, the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences will award 812 qualifications.
  • On Thursday 29 March 2012, the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will award 781 qualifications.
  • On Friday 30 March 2012, the Faculty of Health Sciences will award 322 qualifications, the Faculty of Law 148 qualifications, and the Faculty of Theology 25 qualifications. On the same day, the School of Open Learning will award 261 qualifications.
The graduation ceremony of the Qwaqwa Campus will take place on 12 May 2012. Diplomas/certificates up to and including doctorates will be awarded during the ceremony.

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