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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

Provisional registration period extended to 30 April 2012
2012-03-25

25 March 2012

After a week of intense negotiations between the senior leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses, the SRC has managed to persuade the senior leadership to extend the provisional registration period to Monday 30 April 2012.

This means that, until 30 April 2012, no students will be deregistered for not being able to pay their provisional registration fee. The initial deadline for students to register provisionally was 6 April 2012.

The SRC requested the extension of provisional registration and the senior leadership of the UFS agreed thereto for the following reasons:

  • To allow students more time to raise the money;
  • To allow the provincial and national government, as well as NSFAS more time to respond to students’ financial needs; and
  • To allow the SRC and the university more time to consult with students with strong academic records about financial aid options outside the university.

“The SRC is glad to note that the university management values our efforts in representing our students and we've been able to leverage that advantage to negotiate an extension of the deregistration date with management. We're happy that in this case management has responded to the appeal of students through the SRC and we're exceptionally proud of our ability to push student interests to unprecedented heights,” says Mr Richard Chemaly, SRC President of the Bloemfontein Campus.

According to Mr Chemaly, the SRC is confident in their negotiation abilities. “While others might strike and protest, it is in the best interests of our students to talk to the senior leadership about important issues that are in the interests of students,” he says.

“Since our request to extend the provisional registration period was approved by the university management, the SRC has been working tirelessly to ensure that no deserving student gets deregistered. This includes setting up external funds, approaching the Premier’s office for assistance and setting up the most extensive bursary database any SRC has ever had,” Mr Chemaly says.

If there are any parents or students in need of help for provisional registration, please contact Mr Chemaly at  chemalyra@ufs.ac.za.
 

Media Release
25 March 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

 

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