Halima Cisse, 25, and her children are 'all doing well'

A Malian woman has given birth to nine babies in an extremely rare case that has fascinated the West African nation’s leaders.

Halima Cisse gave birth on Tuesday to four boys and five girls after the Malian government flew her to Morocco for specialist health care.

In a statement, Mali’s health minister Fanta Siby said that the 25-year-old and all the children “are all doing well”.

The minister added that she was being kept informed by a Malian doctor who accompanied Ms Cisse to Morocco and that they due to return home in several weeks’ time.

Doctors originally detected only seven babies inside Ms Cisse’s womb during the ultrasound. But when the Moroccan doctors performed a caesarean section they were shocked to find two more babies.

One of the babies at hospital in Morocco
Originally only seven babies were detected during the ultrasound, but Moroccan doctors found two more when performing a caesarean section

Strangely, Morocco’s health ministry said they had no knowledge of such a multiple birth taking place in one of the country’s hospitals.

Mali’s ministry of health said in a statement that Ms Cisse had stayed at a hospital in the capital Bamako for two weeks before being sent to Morocco for treatment by the president of the transitional government.

Cases of women successfully carrying septuplets to term are rare. Nonuplets are even rarer. Medical complications in such multiple births often mean that some of the babies do not make it.

The first recorded case of nonuplets was in Australia in the 1970s. None of the babies survived. Then in  1999, a woman in Malaysia gave birth to nine children. Sadly, none of them survived more than six hours.