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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

University hosts International Feminist Journal of Politics first annual conference
2012-07-31

The university will host the first annual international conference organised by the prestigious international journal International Feminist Journal of Politics.

The conference will take place from 2 to 4 August 2012 on the Bloemfontein Campus and will coincide with national women’s month celebrations. The theme of the conference is “Leaving the Camp – Gender Analysis across Real and Perceived Divides”. Several leading scholars will participate in the proceedings.

Inderpal Grewal, Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University in the United States and author of Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms will deliver the keynote lecture entitled “Outsourcing Patriarchy: Media, Violence and Transnational Feminisms”.

Prof. André Keet, Director of the International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice will deliver a keynote address at the Women’s Day Dinner on 2 August 2012. The topic will be "Clean shaven Marx [s]? Rights, Necromancy and Conceptions of Feminist Justice".

In addition, Prof. Amanda Gouws, Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University and also newly appointed Commissioner in the Commission for Gender Equality, will facilitate a feminist methodology workshop on “Working across Disciplinary and Professional Borders”.

The International Feminist journal of Politics offers a unique cross-cultural and international forum to foster debate and dialogue at the intersection of international relations, politics and women’s studies. Developed by a team of leading feminist scholars, this journal brings together some of the most influential figures in the field to build a global critical community of writers and readers.

The lecture by Inderpal Grewal takes place in the Business School Auditorium from 10:45-12:00 on 3 August. The lecture is open to the public, but please take note that space is limited.

For further information, please contact Prof. Heidi Hudson at hudsonh@ufs.ac.za  or visit http://ifjp.z2a.co.za.

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