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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

Better education automatically leads to employment, right?
2014-07-24

 
The book ‘Education, Economy and Society’, by Salim Vally and Enver Motala, is about to be launched on the Bloemfontein Campus. The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice will be hosting the event.

"In South Africa and elsewhere there exists an unquestioning acceptance of simplistic claims related to the link between education and economic growth and that more and better education and training will automatically lead to employment," states a quote from the cover of the book.

The contributors to this book systematically challenge these assumptions and set out the basis for an alternative vision. This vision embraces a much broader valuing of knowledge and skills that lead to an inclusive and transformed society. They also put forward different approaches to understanding the connections between education, unemployment, inequality and poverty.

‘Education, Economy and Society’ rigorously critiques conventional wisdom and offers a revised version of the relationship between education and society.

The public is welcome to attend the book launch.

Date: Friday 25 July 2014
Time: 14:00 – 15:30
Venue: DF Malherbe House, the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, Bloemfontein Campus
RSVP: vannestel@ufs.ac.za  


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