A 25-year-old woman in Mali on Tuesday gave birth to nine babies – two more than doctors had detected inside her crowded womb – joining a small pantheon of mothers of nonuplets.
The Government of Male said the pregnant mother, identified as Halima Cisse birthed the nonuplets on Tuesday in Morocco and all nine babies are “doing well”, although Moroccan authorities had yet to confirm what would be an extremely rare case.
Cases of women successfully carrying septuplets to term are rare — and nonuplets even rarer.
Moroccan 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.
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, adding that she had been kept informed by the Malian doctor who accompanied Cisse to Morocco.
They are due to return home in several weeks’ time, she added.
Doctors had been concerned about Cisse’s health, according to local press reports, as well as her babies’ chances of survival.
Mali’s health ministry said in a statement that ultrasound examinations conducted in both Mali and Morocco had suggested that Cisse was carrying seven babies.
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 seven babies, according to ultrasounds conducted in Morocco and Mali that missed two of the siblings. All were delivered by caesarean section.
Nonuplets are extremely rare. Medical complications in multiple births of this kind often mean that some of the babies do not reach full term.