While his wife underwent a Caesarean section in a Moroccan private clinic and gave birth to no fewer than nine Babies, adjutant Kader Arby, stayed at home in Mali. “I am so happy”, responds the man who suddenly had a bunch of children. And his phone is not standing still.
The news that a Malian woman in Morocco has given birth to nine babies is circulating the world. The brand new father, who himself stayed behind in Mali with the eldest daughter of the couple, tells the BBC that he was overwhelmed by all the attention and support. “Everyone called me! Everyone! The government of Mali, even the president!” He says.
His wife, 25-year-old Halima Cisse, underwent the procedure on Tuesday after 30 weeks of pregnancy in a private Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca. Five girls and four boys were born, two more than expected. Yes! The doctors had ‘only’ been able to detect seven babies in previous scans.
In the period before the birth, the expectant mother with her so-called sextuplets was already big news in her own country. Because Cisse needed special care and doctors in Mali feared for her health and that of her babies, the Malian government intervened after a two-week stay in a hospital in Bamako, the capital of Mali.
The authorities had the woman flown to Morocco for the delivery at the end of March. After another five weeks of stretching, the Caesarean section was proceeded on Tuesday.
Adjutant Kader Arby says he is in constant contact with his wife. “My wife and the babies are doing fine,” he says.
He also says that he is not afraid of the future that awaits the family. “God has given us these children. He is also the one who will determine what will happen to them. I’m not worried about that. When the almighty does something, he knows why.”
The private clinic shared a video about the nine babies on Tuesday. The Malian Ministry of Health also posted a photo of three of the nine children online. Hence, having a nine-piece is a very rare occurrence. Usually, they are the result of artificial insemination (it is not yet clear whether this is the case here or not), and often have so many children at the same time is accompanied by medical complications, which means that some babies do not survive the full pregnancy.
The Guinness World Record currently stands at octuplets in 2009 in the United States, where the babies survived. Nine babies were born in Australia in 1971 and Malaysia in 1999, but none of them lived more than a day. The eight children of world record holder Nadya Suleman are now twelve years old.
Professor Youssef Alaoui, medical director of the clinic in Casablanca where the nine sprouts were born, previously told the French news agency AFP that 10 doctors and 25 paramedics assisted in the Caesarean section. “This is really an extremely rare case, it is exceptional,” he said. The babies weigh between 500 grams and 1 kilo and will stay in incubators for “about two to three months,” he also said.