ZanzuZanzu is the product of a collaboration between Sensoa, the Flemish Expertise Centre for Sexual Health, and BZgA (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung), the German Federal Center for Health Education. According to DeReactie.be, “migrants that arrive in [Belgium] are often under-informed about pregnancy, contraception, and sexuality. Or even worse: sometimes they are misinformed. To do something about this, the Flemish Expertise Centrum for Sexual Health has begun a new website: Zanzu.be.” Zanzu is meant to provide speakers of other languages in Flanders and Brussels with trustworthy information. The website is meant specially for vulnerable migrants, such as refugees.

The purpose of Zanzu.be is to allow the visitor to make informed choices regarding his or her sexual health, and to help him or her find a counselor. Sexual health is more than just the absence of disease and prevention of unplanned pregnancy, sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV. Sexual health also includes the enjoyable, pleasurable aspects of sexuality and the protection of sexual rights, including the right to treatment of STDs, the right to protection of and assistance for victims of sexual violence.

Thomas Demyttenaere, Policymaker vulnerable migrants at Sensoa.

Zanzu was made aware of ReadSpeaker through its web bureau, Nascom. ReadSpeaker was chosen due to the high number of voices and languages that are available. The implementation of ReadSpeaker on Zanzu.be was quick and simple. The listen button is very easy to find in all available languages. The first reactions from users with regards to the ReadSpeaker functionality have been very positive. Native speakers have stated that the pronunciation is correct and the voice is easy to understand, according to Thomas Demyttenaere. For professionals who want to give advice with help from zanzu.be, a bit of imagination is necessary: for example, the use of a split screen, to see an article in two languages simultaneously. For professionals, the ReadSpeaker functionality is one of the most important and most spectacular features on the website. The only negative point for Zanzu is that ReadSpeaker is not available in Farsi, Bulgarian, and Albanian, as there are many website visitors who could be assisted by a text-to-speech functionality.

About Zanzu.be

Zanzu is created by Sensoa, the Flemish Expertise Centre for Sexual Health, and BZgA (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung), the German Federal Centre for Health Education. Sensoa is the official partner organization of the Flemish Ministry of Welfare, Public Health and Family and implements the Flemish Government’s policy on sexual health. BZgA is a specialist authority within the portfolio of the German Federal Ministry of Health. It is responsible for health education and health promotion activities on behalf of the Federal Government. BZgA is also a WHO Europe (World Health Organization) collaborating centre for sexual and reproductive health. The content on this website was approved by an international advisory board of European experts in the field of sexual and reproductive health including representatives of WHO.