IT'S better to take action now than depend on medical treatment later, says Pawan Shivlay Chand.
Mr Chand, a king contestant in the Festival of the Friendly North and a student of the Fiji National University, is using the festival as a platform to increase awareness of non-communicable diseases.
He is representing Pinto Industries.
"We all know that non-communicable diseases, if not cured, can claim lives and it's only wise if we take action now and prioritise our health," said the Wailevu lad.
"Let's be responsible and do the right thing. The Health Ministry has done a lot in terms of trying to control such diseases and I strongly believe the onus is on us."
Mr Chand expressed hope via a positive message to the people to live a healthy life.
"Follow the simple steps of living a healthy life, for example, eat fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables, exercise daily and reduce alcohol consumption.
"These are basic steps to life and I only hope that people will make a change ."