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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

Chad le Clos to address graduandi
2012-09-19

Chad le Clos
19 September 2012

A pleasant surprise awaits graduandi at this year’s Spring Graduation Ceremony at the University of the Free State (UFS) on Thursday 20 September 2012.

Olympic gold medalist and swimming sensation Chad le Clos will be the guest speaker at the morning ceremony at 10:15, as well as the afternoon ceremony at 15:15. Both ceremonies take place in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The Olympic champion will sign autographs at the Lindsay Saker Aquatics Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus at 13:30. Everyone is welcome to attend this session. Admission is free.

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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