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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

American diplomatic staff honoured
2012-07-11

 

With Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, are from the left, Mr Brian Denver, Ms Selaelo Ramoleta and Mr Earl Miller.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
11 July 2012

 

The university has honoured a group of high-ranking staff members of the American Embassy in South Africa and Consulate in Johannesburg for their contribution to the university. Amongst them is the Consul-General, Mr Earl Miller.

Mr Miller and five colleagues were honoured for their outstanding contribution to transformation of the university. They are Mr Raymond Tripp, Chief Cultural Officer at the embassy in Pretoria; Ms Wendy Kennedy, Consulate Officer at the consulate; Mr Brian Denver, Cultural Officer at the consulate; Ms Selaelo Ramoleta, Cultural Officer at the embassy and Ms Melissa Clegg-Tripp, Public Affairs Officer at the consulate.

Prof. Aldo Stroebel, Director: International Academic Programmes in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, says the university has been working with the staff of the embassy and consulate for years and that they receive recognition for their support.

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