Monday, October 31, 2011

World's 'seven billionth baby' is born

The world's sev­en billionth baby has been born in a packed govern­ment-run hos­pital in the Philippines.
Weigh­ing 2.5kg (5.5lb), Dan­ica May Camacho was cho­sen by the United Nations to be one of sev­eral chil­dren around the world who will symbol­ically rep­resent the glob­al popu­lation mile­stone.
She was de­liv­ered just before midnight on Sunday amid an explo­sion of press cam­era flashes at Manila's Jose Fabella Memo­rial Hos­pital."She looks so lovely," her moth­er, Camille Dalura, whispered soft­ly as she cra­dled her tiny newborn.
"I can't be­lieve she is the world's sev­en billionth."
Dan­ica's name means morning star. She is a sec­ond child for Camille Dalura and Florante Camacho.
The par­ents and the baby were met by of­ficials from the UN, which named 31 October Sev­en Billion Day, aiming to draw at­tention to the chal­lenges of the world's growing popu­lation.
The accuracy of the projection has been questioned, with some groups argu­ing that the fig­ure is more likely to be reached next year.
UN of­ficials nev­er­the­less presented the baby and her par­ents with a small cake as she lay on her moth­er's chest wearing a knitted red hat. The fam­ily also received a schol­ar­ship grant for Dan­ica's ed­ucation from wellwish­ers and some mon­ey to help them open a shop.Pre­vi­ous chil­dren picked out at birth by the UN to mark world popu­lation mile­stones have complained that the international body forgot about them lat­er in life.
Both 12-year-old Adnan Nevic of Bosnia Herzogovina, the sixth billionth baby, and Matej Gaspar from Croa­t­ia, who was number five billion, have complained that the UN chose them at birth then largely ignored them.
"We saw Kofi Annan as almost like a godfa­ther to him," Adnan's fa­ther, Jasminko, told the Guardian.
Adnan said: "He held me up when I was two days old but since then we have heard noth­ing from them."
The UN Popu­lation Fund hopes to raise awareness about re­productive health, women's rights and inequality through the campaign.
Countries around the world have held cel­ebrations to mark the occa­sion, including a song con­test in Zambia and a concert in Vietnam.
The Philippines has 94.9 million people, accord­ing to a UN report, and 10% of girls aged 15 to 19 have been pregnant.
Enrique Ona, the country's health sec­retary, said the birth offered his country an opportunity to address popu­lation-related prob­lems.

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