Philippines Welcomes Symbolic '7 Billionth Baby'

The Philippines welcomed one of the world's symbolic "seven billionth" babies Monday, after she arrived to a celebratory cheer at a packed government-run hospital.

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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines welcomed shortly after midnight Sunday the symbolic seven billionth baby – a girl born at the government-run Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Medical Center in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Danica May Galura, the second child of common-law couple Camille Galura and Florante Camacho, weighed 5.5 pounds at birth.

“We just welcomed the seven billionth human being. I think this is symbolic in the sense that we would like every Filipino and, of course, every human being that comes into this world, (to be) born with dignity and with all the opportunities in being able to achieve to the fullest the potential of his being a human being,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.

Danica May’s birth came amid an explosion of camera flashes in the delivery room.

“She looks so lovely,” Camille whispered softly as she cradled her tiny baby.

“I can’t believe she is the world’s seventh billion,” she said.

Florante, her partner, 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 United Nations officials in the Philippines including UN Population Fund Country Representative Ugochi Daniels, who presented the child with a cake.
There were also gifts from local benefactors, including a scholarship grant and a livelihood package to enable the parents to open a small retail store.

Also on hand to witness the event was 12-year-old Lorrize Mae Guevarra, who the Philippines declared as its own symbolic six billionth baby in 1999 when the world reached that demographic landmark.

“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,” said Guevarra, who is now in the sixth grade.

The UN named a Bosnian baby, Adnan Mevic, as the Earth’s six billionth inhabitant on Oct. 12, 1999. The secretary-general at the time, Kofi Annan, was pictured in a Sarajevo hospital with Mevic in his arms.

“Plenty of food, but still a billion people going to bed hungry every night. Many people enjoy luxurious lifestyles, but still many people are impoverished,” he said in an interview with Time magazine.

The Mevic family is now struggling in poverty at their Sarajevo home, which is partly why no baby will be put in the global spotlight this time.

Danica May is one of several children in countries around the world being declared a symbolic seven billionth human.

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

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

Other countries launched similar celebrations. Zambia is throwing a seven billion song contest; Vietnam is staging a “7B: Counting On Each Other” concert; Russian authorities are showering gifts on selected newborns and the Ivory Coast is putting on a comedy show.


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