Sextuplets born in Afghanistan


An Afghan woman has given birth to sextuplets in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

22-year-old Sara Gul, a first time mother, birthed three boys and three girls late Monday, Reuters reported. Maternity ward doctor Abdul Rauf Ferogh said that five of the babies were healthy, while the last one was underweight and still in postnatal care. 

Though multiple births are incredibly rare and often the result of medical fertility treatment, Gul did not undergo any treatment. Doctors said that if she had known she was going to have multiple births, she should have been in the hospital days in advance, according to Reuters.

Gul, who is healthy but exhausted after delivering her children, said she tried to abort her pregnancy when she found out she was carrying six babies.

"I even jumped from a wall but nothing happened to them," Gul told Reuters.  

Though Afghans pride themselves on large families, the country suffers from high child mortality rates. According to UNICEF, almost 1 in 5 Afghan children die before the age of 5. 

"Allah blessed me with six children, but I am worried about their future," Gul's husband Shukrullah, 27, told Reuters. He is unemployed, like many in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan's Ministry of Health warns that the country's population of 30 million will double in about 15 years, and have made efforts to promote birth control despite opposition from Islamic scholars, Reuters reported.

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