World's 7 billionth baby born in Philippines

Monday 31 October 2011 15.17
Danica May Camacho becomes 7 billionth person in the world
Danica May Camacho becomes 7 billionth person in the world

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

Weighing 2.5 kilos (5.5lbs), Danica May Camacho was delivered just before midnight Sunday amid an explosion of media flash bulbs in the delivery room at Manila's Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

"She looks so lovely," the mother, Camille Dalura, whispered softly as she cradled her tiny baby.

"I can't believe she is the world's seventh billion."

The baby is the second child for Dalura and her partner, Florante Camacho, 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.

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 94.9m people.