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A female entrepreneur, Portia Mavhungu, based in Gauteng has developed the Para Tube Seat, a mechanism that assists those who are wheelchair bound.
Mavhungu who is currently the CEO of PRD LOGICAL SOLUTIONS (PTY)LTD developed the Para Tube Innovation to provide ease to those who are wheelchair-bound
The unique design of the Para Tube Innovation is a specially designed seat that has been designed to fit onto wheelchairs. The design was aimed at assisting those who are wheelchair-bound to be able to relieve themselves discretely.
Mavhungu plans to launch a testing phase at the end of October and November this year. The testing will be conducted in old age homes. She added that the testing will be done this way as the frail care market has shown an interest in their product.
By early 2021, Mavhungu plans to launch the Para Tube Innovation in all nine provinces in South Africa.
“I want to be able to showcase the importance of persons with disabilities that it’s just not a product but a product that brings change to one’s life on a personal level,” said Mavhungu.
The Para Tube Innovation
Speaking to Ventureburn, Mavhungu explains that in 2011 she was involved in an accident that left her in a wheelchair and unable to use the bathroom independently. She added that needed assistance from her mother to help her use the bathroom.
“I then thought to myself after going through depression and loss of independence if I am going to be in this situation for a short period of time what about those that are going to be in this situation for life,” said Mavhungu.
This was what inspired her to develop the “Para Tube”. Mavhungu explained that this can be retrofitted into any standard wheelchair and works with disposable bags and a portable built-in toilet. The user only needs to pull the middle part of the seat forward by using the handle and flip it up.
This will then make the shape of a toilet.
Mavhungu said that she has been working for more than a decade and that it took six years to develop a working prototype. One of the biggest challenges that Mavhungu faced in the development was the lack of funding and resources.
The Para Tube Innovation received seed funding from TIA in 2017 and again IDC funding for commercialization and testing in 2019.
Mavhungu was raised in Laudium, an area located Southwest of Pretoria in Gauteng.
Mavhungu attributes her values and principles to her mother’s and grandmother’s example.
“I managed to navigate through life being independent and also wanting to make life easier for those who are less fortunate,” said Mavhungu.
Feature image: Para Tube Innovation creator, Portia Mavhungu (Supplied)