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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

Students hard work rewarded at Spring Graduation ceremony
2012-09-07

More Kovsies’ hard work will be rewarded this month with 632 qualifications to be awarded at the Spring Graduation ceremony of the university on 20 September 2012. A total of 530 baccalareus and honours degrees and 102 diplomas and certificates will be awarded in Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus.

A surprise awaits the new graduandi with one of South Africa’s gold medal winners at the recent Olympic Games who will be the guest speaker.

The university awarded more than 4000 qualifications this year – most of which were awarded at the Autumn Graduation ceremony. A total of 629 diplomas and certificates and 2856 degrees were awarded in March 2012 and 481 master’s degrees and 82 doctorates in June 2012.

This month’s qualifications will be awarded at two ceremonies.

The programme for the respective ceremonies is:

  • 10:15 the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will award 132 qualifications, the Faculty of Health Sciences 80 qualifications and the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences 146 qualifications.
     
  • 15:15 the Faculty of the Humanities awards 160 qualifications, the Faculty of Education 89 qualifications, the Faculty of Law 20 qualifications and the Faculty of Theology five.
     

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