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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

Kovsies get a free pass
2014-06-23

As from this year, a fee of R20 is charged to park on the Bloemfontein Campus during the Vryfees arts festival. All staff and students of the UFS with valid cards will be able to park for free, though.

The cost of a ticket is R20 per day or R60 for the entire week (Tuesday 15 July to Saturday 19 July 2014). The parking ticket is issued per car and is valid for the entire day. You can therefore enter and leave the campus as many times as you like for that particular day. Parking will be free on Sunday 20 July 2014.

You can buy your parking tickets in advance from Computicket. Tickets will also be available at the gates. Two Computicket representatives will be present at each gate to sell tickets and collect ticket stubs.
 
These fees are only applicable to visitors of the Vryfees festival – not to university staff, -students or campus guests.

Kovsies who present their valid staff or student cards will have free access to the campus. All service providers, shop owners, conference attendants and other guests of the university will be provided with complimentary tickets for the duration of the Vryfees.

The university – as partner of the festival – will channel the funds from these tickets towards financing art projects in collaboration with the Vryfees.

All five gates of the university will be in use during the festival:
• Main gate (Nelson Mandela Drive),
• Roosmaryn (Badenhorst Street),
• Medical Faculty (corner of DF Malherbe and Wynand Mouton Drives),
• Agriculture (DF Malherbe Drive) and
• the top gate close to Tempe (Fürstenburg Street).

Golf carts will ensure convenient transport to festival-goers between venues and parking areas.

For any further information, phone Maritsa Barlow on +27(0)51 404 7947 or +27(0)76 285 8387.

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