A young Malian woman became a phenomenon in a single day by safely giving birth to nine babies at once at a hospital in Morocco on Tuesday.
Halima Cisse, 25, from the West African country wrote her name in history as a mother of nonuplets — five girls and four boys — and she and the babies are all "doing well," said a written statement from the Mali Health Ministry.
Mali's government flew 25-year-old Halima Cisse, a woman from the northern part of the West African state, to Morocco for better care on March 30. She was initially believed to have been carrying septuplets.
Cases of women successfully carrying septuplets to term are rare; 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 cesarean 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."