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A Malian woman gave birth to nonuplets in Morocco on Tuesday and the nine babies “are doing well,” her government said, although Moroccan authorities have yet to confirm what is believed to be an extremely rare case.

The Malian government transported Halima Cisse, 25, a woman from the north of the poor West African state, to Morocco for better care on March 30. She was initially thought to be wearing septuplets.

Cases of women successfully carrying septuplets to term are rare – and nonuplets even rarer.

Moroccan Health Ministry spokesman Rachid Koudhari said he was unaware 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 Cissé gave birth to five girls and four boys by Caesarean section.

“The mother and babies are doing well so far,” Malian Minister of Health Fanta Siby told AFP, adding that she had been kept informed by the Malian doctor who had accompanied Cisse to Morocco.

They are due to return home in several weeks, she added.

Doctors were concerned about Cissé’s health, according to local press reports, as well as the chances of her babies surviving.

Mali’s health ministry said in a statement that ultrasound examinations in Mali and Morocco suggested Cissé was carrying seven babies.

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

sd-siu / eml / kjl / tgb

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