A woman in Mali has given birth to nine babies – two more than doctors had detected inside her womb – according to the country’s health ministry, joining a small pantheon of mothers of nonuplets.
Halima Cisse, 25, had been 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.
The pregnancy of Cisse has fascinated the west African nation and attracted the attention of its leaders. When doctors in March said Cisse needed specialist care, the country’s transitional leader, Bah Ndaw, ordered that she be sent to Morocco, where she gave birth to five girls and four boys, according to Mali’s health ministry.
“The mother and babies are doing well so far,” Mali’s health minister, Fanta Siby, told Agence France-Presse, 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.
However, Morocco’s 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.
Doctors had been concerned about Cisse’s health, according to local press reports, as well as her babies’ chances of survival. Nonuplets are extremely rare. Medical complications in multiple births of this kind often mean that some of the babies do not reach full term.