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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

Open Day 2014 gives visitors a glimpse of UFS
2014-05-12



The UFS was a hive of excitement and activity with the annual Kovsie Open Day on Saturday 10 May 2014.

From drumming up a storm during the welcoming ceremony to moving about the lively students and vibrant residence stalls, prospective students and parents can now also say that ‘only a Kovsie knows the feeling’. Visitors also had first-hand experience of how accessible our Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, really is. At the Talk to Me gazebo outside his office, Prof Jansen dished up food while having a chat with parents.

This gesture echoed what Prof Jansen said earlier the morning as he addressed visitors to our Bloemfontein Campus in the Callie Human Centre. “The difference between us as Kovsies and other universities is that we are interested in you as a human being,” he said.

He then went on to introduce some of Kovsies’ top achievers. Among others were Izelle Lategan (U/21 SA women’s hockey player of 2013), Wayde van Niekerk (SA and Varsity Athletics 400m champion) and Izelke Klindt (BSc Hons in Astro Physics and winner of the Dean’s Medal in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences for 2014).

OFM presenter Success Lekabe, who acted as programme leader during the welcoming ceremony, praised the UFS as one of “the best university institutions from across South Africa.”

“Kovsies are changing their students’ lives to change the lives of others,” Lekabe said.

The 2014 Kovsie Open Day, with all its fun and laughter, reflected the truth of the UFS as an academic institution that inspires excellence and transforms lives to all its visitors.

Even if you missed the Kovsie Open Day, be sure to grab the chance to study at our university and ensure a lifetime of excellence and innovation. You can visit our Prospective student webpage for more information.


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