#1  Health Innovation - Paratube

In 2011, Portia had a major accident which resulted in her being wheelchair bound. She subsequently suffered deep depression as a result of feeling that she had lost her independence and dignity. She now needed assistance with basic tasks such as using the bathroom and for this, she was fully dependent on her mother and grandmother’s assistance – lifting her off the wheelchair and onto the toilet seat each time Portia needed to relieve herself. She eventually decided to change the situation for her and her loved ones for a better future in the long term. She therefore came up with a new concept and invented a wheelchair mechanism she named the Para Tube. It is a seat that retrofits onto any existing wheelchair – working together with disposable biodegradable bags. It has a built-in toilet allowing the user the ability to use the bathroom without the need to be lifted off of the wheelchair. The Para Tube gives independence and dignity to the user. This invention is what led to the launching of her company, PRD Logical Solutions.

In this first episode of Freedom Pioneers of Africa, Portia presents her concept, which was broadcast across eighteen community radio stations in Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia and Zambia. Listers give their thoughts on the projects presented by upcoming innovators and whether the initiative would work in their environments.
Portia also discusses her initiative with our resident Global Connector, Bianca Praetorius. Bianca is a startup pitch coach who offers insights into all things technology, digitisation and innovation.

Featured radio stations in order of appearance:
Ntepe Manama Community Radio, Underground Radio (English), Radio Omaheke and Kharas Radio.

Featured languages in order of appearance: Zimbabwean Ndebele & Sesotho, English.