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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

Graduates to flourish at 2014 Spring Graduation Ceremony
2014-07-12

Spring does not just bring warmer weather and blossoming flowers, it also ushers in another graduation ceremony on the Bloemfontein Campus.

On Thursday, 18 September 2014, the university will award diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees to our graduates from all seven of our faculties.

Firstly, at 09:30, the Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences, Health Sciences and Natural and Agricultural Sciences will confer degrees during the morning ceremony.

During the afternoon ceremony at 14:30, the Faculties of the Humanities, Education (CE, NPDE and ACE excluded), Law and Theology will confer their degrees.

A total of 727 degrees will be conferred at this year’s Spring Graduation:

- Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: 167
- Faculty of Health Sciences: 119
- Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: 155
- Faculty of the Humanities: 185
- Faculty of Education: 66
- Faculty of Law: 29
- Faculty of Theology: 6

Well-known satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys will be the guest speaker at both ceremonies on the day, certain to both entertain and motivate the graduates and audience alike.

The events of both graduation ceremonies will be streamed live from our website at http://www.ufs.ac.za/content.aspx?uid=247 .

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