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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 awards degrees and diplomas during Spring graduation ceremony
2007-09-12

On 12 and 13 September 2007 the University of the Free State (UFS) will award 626 degrees and diplomas to students from the Main and Vista campuses during the spring graduation ceremony.

Altogether 464 degrees, 134 diplomas and 28 doctorates will be awarded. The diploma ceremony for all faculties will take place on Wednesday 12 September 2007 at 14:30 and the graduation ceremonies will take place on Thursday 13 September 2007 at 08:30 and 14:30.

On Thursday 13 September 2007 at 08:30, 128 degrees and 1 doctorate will be awarded in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and 110 degrees and 12 doctorates will be awarded in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

At 14:30 that same day 82 degrees and 2 doctorates will be awarded in the Faculty of Health Sciences, 30 degrees and 2 doctorates in the Faculty of Law and 7 degrees and 4 doctorates in the Faculty of Theology.

Both ceremonies will be held in the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za   
5 September 2007
 

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