Can you imagine trying for one baby and ending up with 9 at once? It has been one year since the birth of the world’s first set of nonuplets. Conceived naturally, a first in the world, the 5 girls and 4 boys have all survived and are healthy and growing well. The parents, Abdelkader Arby and Halima Cissé, are from Mali. The babies have been taken care of by a full medical team in a hospital in Morocco. Initially, the medical teams both in Mali and then later in Morocco thought Halima Cissé was expecting septuplets, and so they were all surprised to find 9 babies in the end. Again, I salute the wisdom of the Malian government who saw fit to have the mother transferred to Morocco for more advanced specialist care; and I salute the immense dedication of the Moroccan team and government to the well-being of the babies. Excerpts below are from an article on the BBC website.
The world’s only nonuplets – nine babies born at the same time – are “in perfect health” as they celebrate their first birthday, their father has told the BBC.
“They’re all crawling now. Some are sitting up and can even walk if they hold on to something,” said Abdelkader Arby, an officer in the Malian army.
They are still in the care of the clinic in Morocco where they were born.
He said their mother Halima Cissé, 26, was also doing well.
“It’s not easy but it’s great. Even if it’s tiring at times, when you look at all the babies in perfect health, [in a line] from right to left we’re relieved. We forget everything,” he told BBC Afrique.
He has just returned to Morocco for the first time in six months, along with their elder daughter, Souda, aged three.
… They will just have a small birthday celebration with the nurses and a few people from their apartment building, Mr Arby said.
“Nothing is better than the first year. We will remember this great moment …”
The babies broke the Guinness World Record for the most children delivered in a single birth to survive.
… Mrs Cissé and the children are currently living in what their father described as a “medicalised flat” that belongs to the owners of the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca where the babies were born.
“There are nurses who are here, in addition to my wife, who help to take care of the children,” Mr Arby said.
… [The] boys are called Mohammed VI [in honor of the Moroccan king], Oumar, Elhadji, Bah [in honor of the Malian president at the time], while the girls are named Kadidia, Fatouma, Hawa, Adama and Oumou.
Each one has a unique personality, their father said.
“They all have different characters. Some are quiet, while other make more noise and cry a lot. Some want to be picked up all the time. They are all very different, which is entirely normal.”
Mr Arby also thanked the Malian government for its help. “The Malian state has put everything in place for the care and treatment of the nine babies and their mother. It’s not at all easy, but it’s beautiful and something that is comforting,” he said.
… “Everyone [in Mali] is very keen to see the babies with their own eyes – their family, friends, our home village, the whole country.”