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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

KOVSIE XTRAVAGANZA 2004: Pedro on his way to entertain Kovsies!
2004-09-09

The annual Kovsie Xtravaganza will take place on Tuesday 21 September in the Sand du Plessis Theatre. Once again the best of the Kovsie artists will be show cased in this spectacular of colour, sound and movement. The well known performing artist, Pedro Kruger will act as your host for the evening. 

Some of the Kovsie artists who will be performing, will include: Brilliant Cut, Cantare Student revue group, the UFS Choir, the UFS Choral Choir, KARPOS, Voices Incorporated, Bea vd Vyver, Hanno and Andries (currently ZING finalists), Thabo Hlongwane, Lucy Letsoaka, UFS Gospel Mass Choir and the serenade and talent competition winners. For the first time ever at the Xtravaganza, a live band, Music Incorporated (udo Dieperink Moller), will accompany the soloists. Wayne Flemming will act as the director for the production.

The official residence culture winners will also be announced at this gala event.

Hereby all staff, students and people interested are invited to this centenary spectacular.

Tickets are available from PACOFS (+27 51 447 7772) at R25 per person. For all enquiries, contact Louis Botha (+27 51 401 2819).

 

 

 

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