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50 million people. 5 countries. 1 big idea.


It’s a proud day for all of us here at Babylon. We’ve made the top 100 shortlist in the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. The winning 100&Change idea will get a $100 million grant to solve a critical problem of our time. We thought we’d tell you a little bit about the social challenges our shortlisted proposal is trying to overcome.

For many people in Africa, basic healthcare is inaccessible—creating a massive health service gap. Let’s break it down. Africa has 25% of the world’s global disease burden, only 3% of the world’s health workers and just 1% of the world’s health expenditure. As a digital health company, our proposal started with a simple question: what if a digital health service can make healthcare accessible and affordable across Africa, through your phone? It’s an ambitious idea that we can’t execute alone, so we got a lot of help from some amazing partners. We wouldn’t have made it here without them.

Together with AMREF Health Africa, the World Bank and Smart Africa, we proposed an ambitious partnership to accelerate universal health coverage in Africa—through digital primary healthcare. We’re seeking to make healthcare accessible to anyone with a smart or basic mobile phone by:

  • Localising Babylon's existing technology and services
  • Fostering community engagement
  • Harnessing strategic partnerships with governments, health facilities and the private sector

Here’s what Githinji Gitahi, GCEO of AMREF Health Africa has to say. “Universal Health Coverage is the goal the world and Africa, in particular, has embraced to give access to health services to those most left behind. With constrained time and resources, technology remains the single most important accelerator towards this goal. This partnership between Amref Health Africa and Babylon Health is an enabler of this vision.”

We want to bring sustainable and scalable digital health services to 50 million people across 5 African countries, and pave the way for further digital health adoption across the continent.

Smart Africa's Director General, Lacina Koné, said “We are thrilled to learn that Babylon is in the top 100 of the 100&change competition. We believe that the use of technology improves the delivery of quality healthcare to the people. We are excited to partner with Babylon and to effect positive change together. This grant will contribute towards accelerating sustainable health solutions in Africa.”

Our mission of making healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone on Earth is ambitious. It’s also very close to our hearts. That’s why news like this makes us feel even more inspired to bring our vision to life. We’d like to wish everyone else who’s made the shortlist the very best of luck.

As part of the Top 100, our proposal is being showcased on the Bold Solutions Network, a new platform seeking to match powerful ideas with philanthropists interested in accelerating social change.

You can watch our submission video below.