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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

Twenty Rag finalists announced
2012-10-12

The 20 Rag CS finalists for 2012/2013.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
17 October 2012

Our university has been part of the rich tradition of Rag CS (community service) since 1948. During 2011/2012, KovsieRag CS distributed R2 million to charities.

 

Rag CS will continue the tradition next year. The process began as early as March this year when Rag CS received and processed more than 100 applications and chose 50 women and 25 men as semi-finalists. The men and women had the opportunity to collect money until October. A total of R400 000 was collected. The 20 debutants (10 men and 10 women) who collected the most money were chosen as the 10 Brutal Fruit Rag CS finalists and the 10 Mr Rag CS finalists for 2012/2013.

 

These students were recently treated to a breakfast at Bain’s Game Lodge. Every finalist chooses a charity for which they will collect money.

 

Mr Rag CS 2013 and the Rag CS Queen will be chosen at the Crowning Ball on 15 February 2013.

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