Meet Portia Mavhungu, the woman who re-invented the wheelchair

Meet Portia Mavhungu, the woman who re-invented the wheelchair

Innovative inventor Portia Mavhungu saw a need and she decided to create a solution. Thanks to her forward-thinking she and her partner Darushna Chellan created a wheelchair that enables people to go to the bathroom without needing help.

PAY ATTENTION: Click "See First" under the "Following" tab to see Briefly news on your News Feed!

After Portia spent 7 months in a wheelchair after breaking her pelvis in 2011, she realised just how hard life is for people who use wheelchairs.

She found it embarrassing to ask for help when going to the bathroom but couldn't do it on her own.

Instead of going on with her life when she got better and didn't need the wheelchair anymore, Portia decided to find a way to address this problem.

The Gauteng-based inventor designed a seating device that makes it possible for people in wheelchairs to do their private business privately.

PAY ATTENTION: Save mobile data with FreeBasics: Briefly is now available on the app

According to a report by TimesLIVE, Portia and her partner Darushna Chellan created and produced the new fitment for wheelchairs.

This invention, dubbed the Para Tube, is getting attention from all around the globe. It fits onto any wheelchair. The Para Tube is made up of disposable bags, seating and sanitisers.

Portia explained that the Para Tube is easy to use. The person who needs to use the bathroom simply pulls the middle part of the seat forward by means of a handle and it will flip up and make the shape of a toilet.

A bio-degradable bag allows the person to go to the bathroom and can be thrown away like a nappy.

The Technology Innovation Agency gave the inventing duo funding in 2015 and this allowed further development of their invention. Portia and Darushna now have a company called PRD Logical Solutions.

The 2 won an award in the Gauteng Accelerator Programme's medical category with their invention in 2017. Part of the award was R500 000 in funding and mentoring.

Now the two are trying to get funding from the Industrial Development Corporation to help commercialise the Para Tube.

The inventors aim to have their invention reach the people who really need it.

Talk about #ProudlySouthAfrican!


Do you have news that might interest us? Message us on our Facebook page and we could feature your story.

To stay up to date with the latest news, download our news app on Google Play or iTunes today.

Watch the African Proverbs and Their Meanings video and take a look at what else is happening on Briefly South Africa's YouTube channel.


Mailfire view pixel