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Septuplets in Egypt receive an initial good bill of health

Tarek Fawzy/Associated PressNurses tended to the newborns - four boys and three girls - at the El-Shatbi Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt, yesterday. The septuplets were delivered by caesarean section. Tarek Fawzy/Associated PressNurses tended to the newborns - four boys and three girls - at the El-Shatbi Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt, yesterday. The septuplets were delivered by caesarean section. (Tarek Fawzy/Associated Press)
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Associated Press / August 17, 2008
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CAIRO - A 27-year-old Egyptian woman gave birth to septuplets early yesterday in the coastal city of Alexandria, family members and the hospital director said.

Ghazala Khamis was in good condition after a blood transfusion during her caesarean section because of bleeding, said Emad Darwish, director of the El-Shatbi Hospital where she gave birth.

The newborns, four boys and three girls, weigh between 3.2 pounds and 6.17 pounds and are in stable condition, Darwish said.

They have been placed in incubators in four hospitals that have special premature baby units, he said.

"This is a very rare pregnancy - something I have never witnessed over my past 33 years in this profession," Darwish said by phone from the hospital.

Darwish carried out the caesarean section at the end of Khamis's eighth month of pregnancy because of the pressure on her kidneys.

He said Khamis, who has three other daughters, took fertility drugs in an effort to have a son.

Khamis, the wife of a farmer in the northern Egyptian province of Beheira, was admitted to the hospital two months earlier, Darwish said.

"From the initial checkup, I say that none of the babies have any sort of deformities or incomplete organs," he said.

In a separate report of multiple births, doctors in southern Iraq said yesterday that a woman gave birth to sextuplets, but two of them died because the hospital lacked the equipment to keep them alive.

"Two of the children died because of problems breathing," said Dr Ali al-Jabiri, who is in charge of premature infants at Al-Habboubi Hospital in Nassiriya, Iraq.

Khamis Khamis, the brother of the Egyptian woman who delivered septuplets, said his sister was trying to conceive more children so she could have a son, but her relatives were astonished when they found out that she would give birth to multiple babies.

Egypt's health minister said the babies will get free milk and diapers for two years, Khamis Khamis said.

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