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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

Milestone graduation for the UFS Qwaqwa campus
2004-10-09

From left: Prof Peter Mbati:Campus Head;Prof. Frederick Fourie :Rector and Vice Chancellor and Mrs BS Tshabalala Director of Education: Thabo Mofutsanyane District

On 9 October,2004, the Mandela Hall at the UFS-Qwaqwa Campus was filled to capacity as the community gathered to celebrate the graduation of 177 students. Among the degrees awarded were : one doctorate , eight masters,31 honours and 46 bachelors. In addition, there were also 91 diplomas awarded.

The conferring of the first doctorate in the Natural and Agricultural Sciences to Dr Motseki Hlatshwayo made a history for our campus, because it was done for first time. This is a cause for celebration and attests to the resilience of staff and students, and to the commitment and support of our immediate community for the continued offer of relevant post graduate training here on the Qwaqwa campus of the University of the Free State.

Amongst the dignitaries was the Director of Thabo Mofutsanyane District, Mrs BS Tshabalala. In his welcome speech, the Campus Head, Prof Peter Mbati said “ a special day like today is normally only possible due to the dedication and commitment of many different individuals. It is therefore only fitting that we salute you the parents and guardians for all your sacrifices to ensure that your children get the best education”

The 1st Deputy President of the SRC, Mr Tello Motloung also adressedthe granduands. “The year 2004 calls for celebration, as we are celebrating 10 years of democracy. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that we are also meeting

Media release:Ms Jabu Dakile

Senior Liaison Practitioner

UFS-Qwaqwa Campus

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