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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

Zahara headlining Kovsie Extravaganza
2012-10-03

Photo: Thabo Kessah
2 September 2012

On Saturday 13 October 2012, the university will host the annual Kovsie Extravaganza. The music festival, named Zircus, will showcase the best of our student performers as well as the multiple South African Music Award-winning singing sensation, Zahara.

The musician will share the stage with local groups such as the UFS Choir, the Chamber Choir as well as Voices Inc. The Sêr groups of the residences Emily Hobhouse, Sonnedou, Tswelopele, Vishuis, Villa Bravado and Welwitchia have also been lined up for the show. Veritas and Marjolein, the winners of the Campus Sêr competition who came third and second respectively in the National Sêr competition are also part of the exciting line-up.

The show, the Arts and Culture office's final event of the year, promises to wow and thrill students, staff and members of the public with some breath-taking performances from the wide array of talent that Kovsies’ possesses.Tickets are available in Office 5 and 6, Thakaneng Bridge with students paying R50 while the public pay R80.

Venue: Callie Human Centre
Date: 13 October 2012
Time: 19:30

For more information call 051 401 9876/2819.


 

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