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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

Achievement for the UFS School of Management
2007-10-04

(Translated from an article that appeared in Volksblad of 27 September 2007)

The School of Management at the University of the Free State (UFS) obtained an achievement in various areas of an annual survey done by the Financial Mail. In the survey the opinion of MBA students was asked on various aspects of schools of management at South African universities.

The UFS School of Management obtained second place in terms of the quality of its curriculum and its administrative support. The teaching of two subjects, namely human resource management and marketing, achieved the top position in the division on subject standard. Leadership achieved the second position.

Students were also asked how much the schools of management contributed to the development of certain competencies such as decision making, creative thinking, problem solving, team work, leadership, communication and ethics. The UFS School of Management was rated first in terms of communication and second in terms problem solving.

The school came third in terms of business connections in the division on the expectations of students about what the schools of management can offer them.

This year 15 of the 16 registered schools of management in South Africa took part in the survey.
 

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