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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

2015 RAG promises family fun
2015-01-30

The annual Kovsie Rag Community Service (CS) procession will take place on Saturday 31 January 2015 and this year’s theme is all about Video Games and City Icons.

The floats are judged on  31 January andwill depart at 09:00 from the UFS Bloemfontein Campus’ Furstenburg Gate (near Tempe) for the first procession of the day.

Their route will end at Twin City mall where 6 000 meals will be distributed to Heidedal and Mangaung communities.

The float winners will be announced at 17:00, just before the main procession of the day will again depart from Furstenberg Gate in Nelson Mandela Drive.The 2014 UFS Rag queen, Mr Rag and their runners-up will greet the public from the main float. Finalists for the 2015 UFS Rag queen and Mr Rag titles will also accompany the procession.

The popular family festival will take place at Chevrolet Park cricket stadium. There, young and old will be entertained by well-known artists such as K. O, Riana Nel and Matthew Mole.

Do not miss out on this wonderful family festival – come early, bring your family and picnic blanket/chairs to ensure a great spot on the grass. A variety of refreshments will be on sale.

Tickets are available from Computicket as well as at the entrance gates.
Tickets: R80 per person
R50 per child under 12

KFC Rag Procession 31 January 2015 Programme:

09:00 floats depart from the university at the Furstenburg gate
11:00 procession and floats arrive at Twin City Mall in Heidedal
11:00 – 12:00 Westline Aviation air show; distribution of food parcels and balloons released
16:00 Chevrolet Park cricket stadium gates open
18:00 procession and floats depart from the university to Chevrolet Park via Nelson Mandela drive
19:00 – 20:00  Riana Nel
20:00 – 20:45 procession and floats arrive at Chevrolet Park
20:45 – 21:45  Matthew Mole
22:00 – 23:00  K. O

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