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Somali woman gives birth to rare quadruplets in Mogadishu

Friday March 31, 2023


The hospital director said that the mother and babies were in good health. PHOTO/ BANADIR HOSPITAL

Mogadishu (HOL) - A woman in Mogadishu delivered quadruplets on Friday morning, a rare event in a country with limited access to maternal healthcare services. This comes less than three years after a Somali mother gave birth to quintuplets at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Hospital in Mogadishu in 2020, an occurrence considered "one of the rarest births in the world."

Fartun Sharif, director of the Banadir Maternity & Children Hospital, announced on Facebook that the delivery proceeded without complications, and both the mother, Mariam Mohamed Hassan, and her babies are in good health. Sharif added that all four babies are girls and identical twins.

Hassan, who now has seven children, travelled roughly 120 kilometres from a rural area near the Adale district in the Middle Shabelle region, northeast of the capital city. She previously gave birth to twins during her most recent pregnancy.
Hassan said she found out she was carrying quadruplets just hours before giving birth.

Quadruplet births are exceedingly rare, taking place in just 1 in 700,000 pregnancies. Medical technology aids in the conception of approximately 90% of quadruplets. Twins account for the majority of multiple births, representing 90% of all cases, with the remaining 10% being divided among triplets, quadruplets, and higher-order multiples.

Mariam Mohamed Hassan (L) gave birth to four girls in Mogadishu on Friday. Fartun Sharif said that the girls are identical twins. PHOTO/ FIVE SOMALI TV

A mother's likelihood of having quadruplets is higher if she has a family history of multiple births. Women who are multiples themselves or have mothers or sisters who naturally conceived multiples have an increased chance of having multiples due to a genetic link with hyperovulation in certain families.

The rarity of such multiple births was further underscored by the case of Halima Mohamed, an internally displaced person in Tarabunka camp, who also gave birth to quadruplets in 2012, but without proper medical attention, endangering her life and her newborns. According to UNICEF, child and maternal mortality rates in Somalia are among the world's highest, with only 9% of births being attended by a skilled birth attendant.

In 2020, an even rarer quintuplet birth occurred at Mogadishu's well-equipped Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Training and Research Hospital, also known as Digfer Hospital. The Turkish-run hospital celebrated the birth of the quintuplets, marking the first time the hospital had witnessed such an event. The mother and her five babies were reported to be healthy and under the care of medical professionals.


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