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Seven Billionth Baby Born In Manila

Manila Oct 31: As Danica May Camacho peered out at the world just moments after her birth at a hospital in the Philippines, the United Nations Population Fund clocked her as the world's seven billionth

PTI [ Updated: October 31, 2011 12:00 IST ]
seven billionth baby born in manila
seven billionth baby born in manila

Manila Oct 31: As Danica May Camacho peered out at the world just moments after her birth at a hospital in the Philippines, the United Nations Population Fund clocked her as the world's seven billionth baby.

Wearing a hat to keep the heat from escaping through her head, she nestled against her mother's skin as her proud parents look on.

However, Danica's birth is not only significant to mother Camille and father Florante. She is one of the world's symbolic seven billionth occupants.

Filipina mother Camille holds her newborn baby girl named Danica Camacho, in Fabella Maternity hospital, Manila, on Oct 31, 2011.

The baby girl is the Philippines' symbolic “seven billionth baby,” who is part of the UN's seven billion global population project.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) staff gives a cake to the family of newborn baby girl.
The Philippines, ranked 12th as the most populated country in the world, joined the rest of the world as it welcomed its symbolic seven billionth baby in a simple ceremony at the hospital.

Danica was born two minutes before midnight and arrived to a celebratory cheer at the packed Government-run Jose Fabella Hospital in Manila.

Weighing  2.5 kilograms,  Danica May Camacho was delivered amid an explosion of media flash bulbs in the delivery room at Manila's Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

Mother Camille Dalura said: ‘She looks so lovely. I can't believe she is the world's seventh billion.'

The baby is the second child for Camille and her partner Florante, who quietly stood in a corner wearing a white hospital gown as television crews and photographers crowded to get a shot of his daughter.

The parents and the baby were met by top United Nations officials in the Philippines, who presented the child with a small cake.

There were also gifts from local benefactors including a scholarship grant for the child's study, and a livelihood package to enable the parents to start a general store.

Also on hand to witness the landmark event was 12-year-old Lorrize Mae Guevarra, who was declared the world's symbolic six billionth baby in 1999 and is now in the sixth grade.

Guevarra said: ‘I am very happy to see this cute baby. I hope like me she will grow up to become healthy and well loved by everyone.'

The child is one of several in countries around the world being declared a symbolic seven billionth human.The United Nations has declared October 31 as Seven Billion day - the date when the  globe's population is estimated to reach seven billion.

It was hoped she would arrive at exactly midnight, but she was delivered two minutes early.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the arrival of the world's seven billionth baby also presented the Philippines with an opportunity to assess population related issues.

According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World Population Report, the Philippines is the 12th most populous country in the world with 94.9 million people.

China continues to have the biggest share of the population at 1.35 billion, followed by India at 1.24 billion.

The report noted that in many parts of the developing world, where population growth outpaces economic growth, reproductive health care remains a crucial issue.

UNFPA representative Ugochi Daniels said that while the Philippine population remains young, with people under 25 making up 54 percent of the total, they needed to be taught proper ‘life skills' and about sexual issues.

She said that while women were having fewer children globally, the overall population continued to go up.

‘While our world of seven billion represents a complex picture of trends and paradoxes, there are some essential global truths we observe,' she said. ‘Conversely, there is no one global population outlook.'

The UNFPA said 10 percent of Filipino girls aged 15 to 19 have started child bearing, with many of the young also increasingly vulnerable to HIV.

There is scepticism over the accuracy of the UN's Seven Billion Day estimation, with critics saying there is no way of truly telling when the population of the human race hits the landmark.

In the past century, the world's population has increased fourfold. And it has only been 12 years since the planet marked six billion people.

Many independent demographers say the UN has jumped the gun. Early 2013 is their best guess, but it could be as late as 2019 that the landmark is reached.

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