United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) staff gives a cake to the family of newborn baby girl named Danica Camacho, the Philippines' symbolic "seven billionth baby" who is part of the United Nations' seven billion global population projection, in Fabella Maternity hospital in Manila. Photo: Reuters
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) staff gives a cake to the family of newborn baby girl named Danica Camacho, the Philippines' symbolic "seven billionth baby" who is part of the United Nations' seven billion global population projection, in Fabella Maternity hospital in Manila. Photo: Reuters

‘7bn baby’ claim sparks global squabble

By Time of article published Nov 1, 2011

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It was supposed to be a symbolic gesture to mark a global milestone.

But when the UN declared a baby from the Philippines the world’s seven billionth human, it sparked worldwide howls of “oh no she isn’t”.

Parents from Britain to India scrambled to claim that their child was in fact the landmark baby.

Of course, with hundreds of thousands of births each day, it is impossible to pinpoint the true holder of the title. But the UN chose to mark the event by welcoming Danica May Camacho, who was born two minutes before midnight on Sunday to a struggling family in Manila, with a chocolate cake marked “7B Philippines” and a gift certificate for free shoes.

Her mother Camille said: “She looks so lovely. I can’t believe she is the world’s seven billionth.”

Not to be outdone, officials in Uttar Pradesh - the most populous state in India - appointed seven girls born yesterday to share the honour. They included Nargis Yadav, daughter of Ajay and Vinita.

Britain has a candidate, too. Soon after his birth at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, at 6.58am yesterday, Peter Bashir was presented with a House of Commons teddy bear by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tonge, Tory MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and hospital staff. Mother Yasmin Karim, from Rotherhithe, south London, said: “We will be able to tell him he was the seven billionth baby when he gets older. It felt like he was fighting to get out. Maybe he wanted to be famous.”

There were also celebrations following declarations by officials in Vietnam, Zambia, Russia - Marina Nikolaeva’s son Peter - and Greece - George Doikas.

Sadly, it’s unlikely to be a title that will carry much weight. The families of Adnan Nevic from Bosnia Herzegovina, named as the sixth billionth baby, and Matej Gaspar, from Coatia, who was number five billion, have complained the UN has ignored them ever since. - Daily Mail

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