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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 appoints new Vice-Rector
2007-12-04

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) has recently approved the appointment of Prof. Driekie Hay, currently Dean: Academic Development at the Central University of Technology (CUT), as Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS. Prof. Hay will commence with her duties on 1 January 2008.

Prof. Hay is appointed in the place of Prof. Magda Fourie who accepted a position at the University of Stellenbosch.

Before her appointment at the CUT in March 2004, Prof. Hay was the Director of the UFS Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development (CHESD) for a number of years. She was also involved with the Grow Our Own Timber project of the UFS. She obtained her Ph.D. in 1997 and has a strong research profile.

“Prof. Hay obtained valuable experience in senior management the past four years at the CUT, among others as acting vice-rector. Her understanding of academic planning and her exceptional expertise in staff development and
teaching-learning development makes her a very suitable candidate for the position,” said Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

“She also indicated that she has an exceptional talent for handling diversity and service delivery. She has an understanding of transformation in the context of the UFS and can play an important role in the university’s transformation process,” said Prof. Fourie.

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  
4 December 2007
 

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