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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 a Black-White Thing
2014-06-03

Seasoned American journalist, Donna Bryson, will launch her book at the Bloemfontein Campus. It's a Black-White Thing offers a story of hope for our country thirsty for good news. 
 
During 2008, Bryson – who was also in SA reporting on our first all-race elections – visited the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. The reason: to investigate the raging furore around the now-infamous Reitz event. Speaking to students, staff and two former rectors, she realised that the campus was indeed a microcosmic reflection of our country at large.
 
Now returning to where it all started, Bryson’s book shows that real change is finally taking place. Her stories tell of inspiring individual transformations under the leadership of Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.
It's a Black-White Thing offers a story of hope for our country longing for good news.
 
Come join Donna Bryson and Prof Jansen when they will discuss the book during a public event. The launch of her book is hosted by the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, in cooperation with the Department of Communication and Brand Management. The discussion forms part of the university's 20 years of democracy celebration series.
 
It’s a Black-White Thing is Bryson’s first book and was shortlisted for the City Press Tafelberg Nonfiction Award.
 
Date: Thursday 5 June 2014
Time: 10:00 – 11:00
Venue: Flippie Groenewoud Building (FGG), Block B, Room 202, Bloemfontein Campus

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