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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

New Visitors Centre opened
2015-01-05

From the left: Mamosa Makaya, Deputy Director: Integrated Communication; Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research; and Lacea Loader, Director: Communication and Brand Management at the opening of the Visitors Centre.

Welcoming point to the Bloemfontein Campus for national and international visitors

Each year our university welcomes numerous visitors onto the Bloemfontein Campus – be they conference delegates, prospective students, parents or service providers. As part of the university’s greater plan of access control and securing the campus for its staff, students and visitors, a Visitors Centre was built at the DF Malherbe gate. The Department of Communication and Brand Management officially opened the new Visitors Centre on 27 November 2014.

In partnership with Protection Services, visitors are now registered and issued with temporary cards to gain access to various parts of the campus. Visitors will also be able to obtain directions and a copy of the campus map at the centre.

The design of the building not only lends a modern, spacious feeling to the centre, but supports green energy as well. Also located at the Visitors Centre is the university switchboard which is the first point of contact for enquiries.

The centre will in future be the welcoming point for larger delegations and visiting groups, nationally and internationally.

For enquiries about the Visitors Centre contact: Mamosa Makaya, Deputy Director: Integrated Communication, at +27(0)51 401 9188 or email makayam@ufs.ac.za.

Visitors Centre front desk: +27(0)51 401 7766.

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