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Vientiane, Lao PDR - On 31st October, the world's seven billionth human being was born. In Lao PDR, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organized an activity to celebrate "the Day of Seven Billion". MPI's and MoH Vice Ministers gave a remark and offered welcome gift baskets with health information package and a birth certificate to the mothers of the babies born on this important date at the Mahosot Hospital to symbolically represent the 7 Billionth person in the world.

This global milestone is an occasion to recognize and celebrate our common humanity and diversity. "A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity," said Ms. Della Sherratt, UNFPA Officer-In-Charge. "In Lao PDR, people are living longer, healthier lives and choosing to have smaller families. But reducing inequities and finding ways to ensure the well-being of people alive today - as well as the generations that follow - will require the commitment and planning of today's leaders" she said.

"To achieve MDGs in particularly MDG1, 4 and 5, the Government of Lao PDR has made a great effort to improve the health of mother and child by implementing the MNCHN package and free delivery services," said H.E. Associate Professor Dr. Somok Kingsada, Vice Minister of Ministry of Health. "For a newborn child to be born healthy and survived, it is crucial that a good nutrition is start from the mother even before pregnancy; that a pregnant mother has access and received ANC services; that there is a skilled birth attendant and emergency obstetric care available to assist birth especially in complications; that the mother and a child has access and received ANC services; that there is a skilled birth attendant and emergency obstetric care available to assist birth especially in complications; that the mother and a child has access and received PNC services; and that the mother and family receive information on good nutrition practices and family planning which can help a couple plan for their next wanted child and allow them to invest time and resources to a raise a healthy and productive child for Lao development".

"Lao demographic golden opportunity has started and will last for at least 30 years. This is because of the human resources including a large youth and working age population who are and will be the main power to drive country development. However, our country prosperity will come only if our current and future generations, women and men, are healthy, educated, skilled and employed. Investing in human resources development should star from an early age but it should start way before the child is born from the parents", said H.E. Mr. Somchit Inthamith, Vice Minister of Ministry of Planning and Investment.

"The World at 7 Billion" Essay Contest
As part of the 7 Billion celebration activities, MPI and UNFPA organized an essay competition titled "The World at 7 Billion: Opportunities, Challenges and Implications for Lao Development" to open the opportunity Lao youth which are accounting for 50% of the population to express their voices and enhance their capacities.

52 students from Vientiane and some other provinces participated in the contest. All submissions were blind reviewed by a group of experts from UNFPA, MPI and the National University of Laos who chose 3 winners from 2 categories, as follows: upper-secondary level: 1st prize: Ms. Chintana Sengsoulin, 2nd prize: Ms. Viriya Vilavongsa and 3rd prize: Mr. Khamchanh Thamavong; and university and college level: 1st prize: Mr. Thongsouk Somphouviseth, 2nd prize: Mr. Doungta Manivanh and 3rd prize: Mr. Tom Xaysongkham.

The winning essays will be awarded 2.000.000 LAK, 1.500.000 LAK and 1.000.000 LAK for first, second and third place, respectively. Some of the winners will be invited to present their essays during the launching of the State of World Population Report to be held in Early December 2011.

To learn more about the global 7 Billion Actions campaign, visit

For more information, please contact: 
Mr. Diego De La Rosa. UNFPA. Tel: (+856 21) 315547. Mobile: (+856 20) 59936509. Email: