Nonuplets born to a Malian couple celebrate their first anniversary

Halima Cissé and Abdelkader Arby welcomed five girls and four boys, weighing between just 1.1 and 2.4 pounds, to the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, Morocco on May 4 last year.

Twelve months later, and all nine miracle babies are thriving and reaching developmental milestones, their father, Arby, shared.

“They are all crawling now. Some are sitting up and can even walk if they grab on to something,” he told the BBC.

Discussing his experience of raising the babies as well as their three-year-old daughter, Souda, Arby said that while it’s “not easy”, it was great to see “all the babies in perfect health, ( in a line) from right to left, we are relieved. We forget everything.

The couple celebrated the siblings’ first anniversary with a reunion attended by their neighbors and the clinic’s nurses.

Nonuplets made history as the most babies born in a single birth to survive when they were born prematurely by caesarean section, 30 weeks into Cisse’s pregnancy.

The previous Guinness World Record for the most children born in a single birth to survive was held by the eight babies born in 2009 to California-based Nadya Suleman, known as “Octomom”.

Prior to the birth, Cissé and Arby were flown to Morocco by the Malian government so that Cissé could receive specialist medical care. It took a team of more than 30 doctors and paramedics to deliver the babies safely, the clinic said in a statement at the time.

Arby told the BBC the toddlers are still cared for by the clinic where they were born and live in a “medical apartment” in Casablanca owned by the clinic’s owners.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year, the majority being in Africa and South Asia.


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