Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Kovsies keep it green and clean
2012-09-10

Learners from surrounding schools do their bit for the environment taking part in the first ever Green Festival hosted on the Bloemfontein Campus.
10 September 2012

Celebrating all things green, the University of the Free State (UFS)’s first Green Festival started with a bang with the initiative being nominated for a national Eco-Logic Award.

The festival, hosted on Saturday 8 September 2012, drew the attention of a panel of highly respected environmentally aware individuals who selected the green initiative as one of five finalists in the recycling category of the Eco-logic awards. The awards are hosted in association with SABC3 and the university was selected out of nearly three hundred entries. The university will now compete with other finalists at a gala dinner at the Cradle of Humankind on 27 September 2012.

With learners from surrounding high schools who were invited to help clean parts of the city, the Bloemfontein Campus was abuzz with activity on Saturday. Staff and students from the university joined learners in taking part in activities such as the Green Film Festival where documentary movies on environmental issues were screened. Stalls and exhibitions displayed sustainable green materials and organic food. Residences took part in a body-painting competition to raise awareness about going green.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, delivered a Green Festival address and praised Kovsie students for taking the lead in going green.“Our country’s future depends on us caring for the environment,” he told learners and students. “If we don’t take care of the environment, we will all be gone. It is about the next generation, about what we leave for the children.”
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept