25-year-old Malian woman gives birth to nine babies

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Halima, a 25-year-old woman from Mali’s north, was flown to Morocco on March 30 for better care. She was initially suspected of having septuplets.

Halima Cisse, a Malian woman, gave birth to nonuplets in Morocco on Tuesday, and her government said all nine babies are “doing well,” though Moroccan authorities have yet to confirm what would be an extremely rare event.

On March 30, Mali’s government flew Halima, a 25-year-old woman from the country’s north, to Morocco for better treatment. Initially, she was thought to be carrying septuplets.

Women who successfully bear septuplets to term are extremely rare, and nonuplets are even rarer.

Moroccan health ministry spokesman Rachid Koudhari said he had no knowledge of such a multiple births having taken place in one of the country’s hospitals.

But Mali’s health ministry said in a statement that Cisse had given birth to five girls and four boys by Caesarean section.

“The mother and babies are doing well so far,” Mali’s Health Minister Fanta Siby told AFP.

She went on to say that the Malian doctor who accompanied Cisse to Morocco had kept her updated.

They are expected to return home in a few weeks, she said.

According to local press accounts, doctors were worried about Cisse’s health as well as her babies’ chances of survival.

Ultrasound scans performed in both Mali and Morocco indicated that Cisse was carrying seven infants, according to Mali’s health ministry.

Siby offered her congratulations  to “the medical teams of Mali and Morocco, whose professionalism is at the origin of the happy outcome of this pregnancy”.

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