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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

President of Spelman College in the US delivers the Second Annual Reconciliation Lecture
2013-07-28

 

Dr Beverly Tatum
15 July 2013


Dr Beverly Daniel Tatum, President of Spelman College, the oldest college for African-American women in the United States, will visit the UFS early in August.

A highlight during her visit will be the Second Annual Lecture on Reconciliation she is to deliver in the Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 7 August at 17:30. Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, invites you to attend the lecture.

Dr Tatum is a psychologist and author of the critically acclaimed books, Can We Talk About Race? And Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? More information on Dr Tatum is available at http://www.spelman.edu/about-us/president%27s-office/biography

If you would like to attend the lecture, please confirm with Jo-Anne Naidoo at NaidooJA@ufs.ac.za

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