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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

Full accreditation for MBA programme
2004-12-01

The University of the Free State (UFS) this week received full accreditation for its MBA-programme from the Council on Higher Education (CHE). The accreditation was granted after the programme was conditionally accredited earlier this year.

“The full accreditation serves as proof that the key elements of a good teaching programme are in place. After the programme received conditional accreditation, a few areas were addressed and a progress report was submitted to the CHE. This was followed by a site visit by a delegation from the CHE. We are happy about the successful outcome of the accreditation process,” said Prof Helena van Zyl, Director of the UFS’s School of Management.

“In the initial evaluation done by the CHE it was already mentioned that the UFS’s MBA-programme clearly and significantly contributes to students’ knowledge and skills, is relevant for the workplace and appropriately resourced. Now we can build on the further extension of the quality of the programme,” said Prof van Zyl.

“We welcome the CHE’s accreditation process. It confirms and protects the integrity of the group of high quality MBA-programmes in South Africa,” said Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

The UFS’s online MBA-programme will only be evaluated next year because the CHE is still in the process of developing criteria for the on-line programmes of tertiary institutions.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
7 December 2004

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