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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

University ready for 2013 registration process
2012-12-05

16 November 2012

Thousands of new first-year students are expected at the University of the Free State (UFS) in January 2013 and the University is ready to receive them. Everything is in place to allow the registration process to run smoothly for new, as well as senior students.

As in previous years, the Callie Human Centre will be the central point during the registration process. Students will get advice on registration, admission, academic programmes, class fees, residences and other information there.

New first-year students and their parents or guardians will be welcomed on the Qwaqwa Campus on 18 January 2013 and on the Bloemfontein Campus on 19 January 2013 by Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector. Four sessions are scheduled in which Prof. Jansen will spend time with new students of the different faculties on the Bloemfontein Campus. New first-year students will register from 21 to 25 January 2013.

Registration for senior students will commence on 14 January 2013. Those who do not live in university residences register from 14 to18 January 2013, while students who live in residences can register from 28 to 31 January 2013.

For further enquiries, contact the UFS Information Office on 051 401 3000. For more information on the registration process, visit our webpage and click on the heading More about us.

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