ISLAMABAD - The so-called initiative of the Health Ministry to save thousands of women from the fatal disease of breast cancer proved as futile exercise, as despite passage of almost two years, this project is being run without a National Director. "The post of the National Director of programme is still vacant and despite passage of almost two years, the Ministry of Health cannot manage to fill the vacancy as it never considers the programme seriously," noted an official of the Ministry while talking to TheNation on Monday. The project was launched almost two years ago and Rukhsana Aziz, wife of the former prime minister was appointed as its head. The official opined that absence of a high level official turned the project into a failure as it could not manage to achieve the targets as the project was launched to establish free diagnostic and treatment facility across country and to provide free of cost facility to females of early detection of breast cancer. So far only five public hospitals across country have the facility of screening mammography. While doctors recommend regular screening mammography for women over the age of 40 years, which is the best way of protection from this fatal disease. "On one hand, the government claims that due to lack of awareness among females, the breast cancer cases are on the rise but the ground realities speak otherwise as due to non-availability of diagnostic and treatment facility, the number of cases are increasing in Pakistan," he added. When on October 27, the International Pink Ribbon Day was celebrations were carried out at the Health Ministry did not bother to launch even public awareness campaign or conduct an awareness seminar in this regard. According to a rough estimate, every year in Pakistan 93,000 women are diagnosed of this fatal disease and every female out of nine is suffering from the fatal disease. Thus Pakistan reports highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia and every year 40,000 women die of this disease in this country. According to a health expert, family history also plays an important role in breast cancer as family susceptibility to cancer account for approximately 25 per cent chances of having breast cancer cases.