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Mali's world-beating nonuplets back home in Bamako

Halima Cisse and Kader Arby0, parents of the nonuplets   -  
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A Malian mother who gave birth to nine babies in Morocco last year returned home on Tuesday with her infants, Health Minister Dieminatou Sangare told AFP.

"Joy and satisfaction to see them in good health. The mother and babies are doing well and have arrived safe and sound in Mali," she said in a message.

Sangare showed pictures on her Facebook page of her welcoming the two parents and their nine children in the capital Bamako.

Halima Cisse, a young woman from the northern city of Timbuktu, gave birth to five girls and four boys in Casablanca in May 2021.

Mali's government flew her to the city's Ain Borja clinic, which had better facilities to cope with multiple pregnancies than in the impoverished Sahel state.

Doctors had worried for the health of the mother-to-be and for the babies' chances of survival, given the high risk of very premature birth.

She was 25 weeks pregnant when admitted and medical staff managed to extend her term to 30 weeks.

All were delivered safe and sound by Caesarean section, using a team of 10 doctors assisted by 25 paramedics.

They each weighed between 500 grams and one kilogram (1.1 and 2.2 pounds) but needed to stay in Morocco to benefit from specialist care.

The verified world record for the most living births is eight, born to an American woman, Nadya Suleman, nicknamed "Octomum", in 2009 when she was 33.

"This is a first. It's a source of pride for us," Sangare said.

She said "the state honoured its commitments" in helping Cisse and expressed her thanks to the Moroccan medical team.

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