A Malian woman has given birth to nine babies after only expecting seven, Mali’s Ministry of Health has said.
The 25-year-old Halima Cisse gave birth to the babies via cesarean section on Tuesday in Morocco after being sent there for special care, the ministry announced.
“The newborns (five girls and four boys) and the mother are all doing well,” Mali’s health minister, Fanta Siby, said in a statement, adding they are due to return home in several weeks’ time.
Cisse had been expecting seven babies. Malian doctors, under government orders, sent Cisse to Morocco for the births because there wasn’t adequate equipment to deal with this extremely rare pregnancy.
The private Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, where she was treated, confirmed she gave birth there.
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”.
Cisse was expected to give birth to septuplets (seven babies), according to ultrasounds conducted in Morocco and Mali that missed two of the babies.
Cases of women successfully carrying septuplets to term are rare – and nonuplets even rarer.
Moroccan authorities have yet to confirm what would be an extremely rare case. Health ministry spokesman Rachid Koudhari said he had no knowledge of such a multiple birth having taken place in one of the country’s hospitals, according to the AFP news agency.