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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

Social entrepreneurship important to eradicate poverty
2012-03-30

 

Here are Rhoda Kadalie and Mark Lotter at the Business School
Photo: Stephen Collett
30 March 2012

Renowned South African human activist and popular columnist Rhoda Kadalie recently visited the Business School to lecture on social entrepreneurship.

Ms Kadalie has been the Executive Director of Impumelelo since 1999. This organisation rewards innovative government and civil society initiatives that improve social service delivery in the eradication of poverty in South Africa.

She was accompanied by Mr Mark Lotter, Fundraiser and Marketing Manager of Impumelelo. Mr Lotter did a presentation on ground-breaking achievements using best-practice South African case studies, e.g. the Mariannhill Landfill Conservancy, Phelophepa Health Train and mothers2mothers.

They elaborated on the principles underlying the work and contributions of Impumelelo to the future well-being of the nation. It was clear from the lecture and the discussions that followed by MBAs, under- and postgraduate students from different faculties, as well as members of the university community, that the debate on social entrepreneurship is highly relevant, much needed and very important.

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