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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

UV ken grade en diplomas toe tydens die jaarlikse lente-gradeplegtigheid
2004-09-07

The University of the Free State (UFS) will award a total of 423 degrees and 267 diplomas on Wednesday 22 September 2004 during this year’s spring graduation ceremony.

Altogether 25 doctorates and 3 honorary doctorates will also be awarded. The honorary doctorandi are D r Calvin Seerveld (D Phil (hc), Prof YK Seedat (MD (hc) and Dr Mary Seely (D Sc (hc). These doctorandi form part of the greater group of 18 doctorandi who will be awarded honorary doctorates during the UFS’s centenary year. The last group will be receiving their honorary doctorates in October 2004.

In the Faculty of Health Sciences 59 degrees, 29 diplomas and 1 doctorate will be awarded, in the Faculty of Humanities (excluding the School of Education ) 72 degrees and 6 doctorates will be awarded. In the School of Education 33 degrees, 212 diplomas and 4 doctorates will be awarded and in the Faculty of Law 7 degrees will be awarded.

In the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences 122 degrees, 2 diplomas and 8 doctorates will be awarded, in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences 118 degrees, 20 diplomas and 3 doctorates will be awarded and in the Faculty of Theology 12 degrees, 4 diplomas and 3 doctorates will be awarded.

The diploma ceremony will start at 08:30 and the graduation ceremony will start at 14:30 . Both ceremonies will take place in the Callie Human Centre.

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 September 2004

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