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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

UFS honours many during Autumn diploma and graduation ceremony
2007-04-16

The University of the Free State (UFS) will award 797 diplomas and 2 633 degrees from 23-26 April 2006 during this year’s autumn diploma and graduation ceremony. Students from the Main Campus and Vista Campus will take part in the ceremony.   
 
Altogether 32 doctorates and two honorary doctorates will be awarded. The honorary doctorandi are Prof. Barend Johannes (Bannie) Britz and author Mr Khotso Pieter David Maphalla. 
 
On 26 April 2007 Prof. Britz will be honoured for his contribution to architecture when the degree D.Arch. (h.c.) will be awarded to him.
 
Mr Maphalla will be honoured for his contribution to the development of the Sesotho language and culture. He will receive the degree Ph.D. (h.c.) on 12 May 2007 during the graduation ceremony of the Qwaqwa Campus.
 
On 23 April 2007 at 08:30 altogether 497 diplomas will be awarded in the upgrading programmes of the School of Education in the Faculty of The Humanities, namely A.C.E, N.P.D.E. and C.E. At 14:30 on the same day 300 diplomas will be awarded to students from all the faculties.
 
On 24 April 2007 at 08:30 altogether 442 degrees and three doctorates will be awarded in the School of Education and at 14:30, 461 degrees and four doctorates will be awarded in the Faculty of The Humanities, excluding the School of Education.  
 
On 25 April 2007 at 08:30 altogether 296 degrees and one doctorate will be awarded to students in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. This includes students in B.Acc., B.Admin., B.Pub., related honours degrees and all masters and doctors degrees. At 14:30 on the same day degrees will be awarded to 482 students from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, excluding students in B.Acc., B.Admin., B.Pub., related honours degrees and all masters and doctors degrees.
 
On 26 April 2007 at 08:30 altogether 595 degrees, 19 doctorates and one honorary doctorate will be awarded in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. At 14:30 on the same day 357 degrees and five doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law and Theology.
 
Both the diploma and degree ceremonies will be held in the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.
 
Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
16 April 2007

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