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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

It’s time for Stagedoor again!
2013-03-12

 

12 March 2013

It’s time for Stagedoor again! Mounting excitement is spreading across the Bloemfontein Campus in anticipation for this annual art and culture event.

Stagedoor is a fun-filled musical theatre competition between campus and city residences. This year's theme is ‘LIKE A BOSS’ and residences will battling it out in the rotations on 12 and 13 March 2013. Finals will take place on Saturday 16 March.

“This year we're excited to welcome two new residences, Outeniqua and ConLaurês, to the competition,” says Tonderai Chiyindiko, Senior Officer: Arts and Culture: Student Life and Leadership.

“We've also aligned the rotations in line with our Colleges format system. So what that means is in each college three residences were randomly chosen by all the Residence Committee members for Arts and Culture to be the main host venues for each particular college.”

The number of finalists has also been increased to seven female and six male residences.

Rotations Venues

West College: Conlaures, Outeniqua, Vishuis
South College: Emily Hobhouse, Armentum
North College: Vergeet-My-Nie, Madelief, Tswelopele
East College: Khayalami, Roosmaryn
Central College: Soetdoring, Karee

Tickets for the final on 16 March: R30 Students; R50 Non-students.
Venue: Kovsie Church
Tickets are available in office 46 in the SRC Building.

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