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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 students should register like this
2004-12-15

Student activities on the main campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) will start next year when first-time entering first-year students will be welcomed by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof Frederick Fourie, on 15 January at 11:00 in the Callie Human Centre on campus.

“The registration process will start on 17 January 2005 when first-time entering first-year students, who applied for admission before 30 November 2005, will start registering. These students may register until 21 January 2005 according to a programme,” said Mr Vernon Collett, Registrar: Academic Student Services at the UFS.

Senior undergraduate students may register from 22-29 January 2005 and postgraduate students, first-time entering first-year students and other students who applied for admission after 30 November 2004 until 15 January 2005, may register from 31 January- 4 February 2005 according to a programme.

According to Mr Collett postgraduate students who applied for admission from 15 January- 11 February 2005, may register according to a programme from 7-11 February 2005. Students who want to change their field of study or want to amend their modules, may do it during this period.

“To ensure an orderly registration process, strict adherence to the registration programme will be maintained,” said Mr Collett.

Applications for the Career Preparation Programme (CPP) close on 21 January 2005 en those for upgrading courses in Education, will close on 2 February 2005.

“Pipeline students from Vista must register on the UFS’s Vista campus on the dates already mentioned and first-year students from Vista must register on the UFS’s main campus,” said Mr Collett.

All registrations will take place daily from 08:00 in the Callie Human Centre on the main campus.

According to Mr Collett a variety of services will be available to students in the Callie Human Centre during the registration – among others advice on bursaries, loans, staff and council bursaries, enquiries for international students, information on class and room tables, student cards, vehicle permits etc.

At the Qwaqwa campus all first-time entering first-year students must report on 17 January 2005, after which the registration of these students will take place according to a specific programme. Application for admission to this campus close on 1 February 2005. First-time entering first-year students will be welcomed by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof Frederick Fourie, on 22 January 2005 at 11:00 in the Nelson Mandela Hall on campus.

Lectures at the UFS’s main campus as well as the Vista- and Qwaqwa-campusses will commence on 31 January 2005.

Prospective students who want to apply or who have any enquiries can call (051) 401-3000 or visit the UFS web site late in December 2004 at www.uovs.ac.za.

A complete registration programme for first-time entering first-year students who registered before 30 November 2004 will appear in Volksblad of 29 Desember 2004.

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

 

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