A Malian woman has given birth to nine babies after expecting only seven, Mali’s Ministry of Health says.
Halima Cisse, 25, gave birth to the babies via Caesarean section on Tuesday in Morocco after being sent there for special care, the ministry announced.
“I’m very happy,” her husband, Adjudant Kader Arby, told the BBC.
“My wife and the babies [five girls and four boys] are doing well.”
The babies were born prematurely, at 30 weeks. Associated Press journalists at the private Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca where the babies were born have reported seeing some of them wiggling their hands and feet inside incubators.
Ms Cisse had been expecting seven babies – itself a rare event.
She spent two weeks at a hospital in Mali’s capital, Bamako, before it was decided to move her to Morocco on March 30. Doctors were concerned Mali – one of the world’s poorest countries – didn’t have adequate equipment to deal with the extremely unusual pregnancy.
The private Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, where Ms Cisse was treated, confirmed she gave birth there.
Mr Arby remained in Mali with the couple’s older daughter during his wife’s five-week hospital stay. He said the family had been overwhelmed at the support it had received.
“Everybody called me! Everybody called!” he said.
“The Malian authorities called expressing their joy. I thank them… Even the president called me.”
Moroccan health ministry spokesman Rachid Koudhari said he was not aware of a previous similar multiple birth at any of the country’s hospitals.
The Guinness Book of World Records is reportedly verifying the Morocco birth. Its current record for most living births at once is eight – to American Nadya Suleman, whose “octuplets” were born in 2009.