Zanzu – the multilingual website on sexual and reproductive health
The website Zanzu offers a wealth of information on sexual and reproductive health and thus enables a high level of communication on sensitive matters – not only because of its multilingual nature, but also because of the many illustrations and the text-to-speech function.
An internet-based approach to improved sexual health for migrants
Zanzu is a new online portal that provides comprehensive information in 13 different languages concerning:
- the human body,
- pregnancy and birth,
- HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI),
- sexuality and relationships,
- as well as rights and laws in relation to sexual and reproductive health.
Zanzu is primarily directed toward disseminators who either advise or treat adult immigrants professionally, for example, physicians and counselors. Adequate materials are needed in particular by those working with immigrants who have not lived for very long in Germany, do not yet have a command of the language and may possess insufficient experience with bodily processes. The website can also easily be accessed by immigrants themselves to obtain quality-assured information in the areas of sexual and reproductive health.
People who have not been living in Germany for long:
- receive easy to understand information in their native language
- can simply and easily find their local counselling centres through zanzu.de
- can learn what rights they have in Germany and which laws apply to them
- receive a guided tour through the German health and counselling system
Counselling centres and health professionals:
- receive comprehensive assistance to support their advisory and health care provision
- can quickly and easily compile precise information for consultations in various languages
- receive a dictionary for translating and explaining the terms used in the consultations
What does zanzu.de offer?
Zanzu provides simple and clear information about sexual and reproductive health and, in doing so, aids communication on these topics, for example during a consultation. The web portal provides discreet and direct access to knowledge in this area, especially for those who have not been living in Germany for long. Zanzu.de offers counselling centres and health professionals a specific tool for consultation in daily practice. Information is available on the web portal in the following languages: German, Dutch, English, French, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Farsi, Bulgarian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Albanian.
Migrants who have recently arrived in Germany for a whole range of reasons, including »marriage immigrants« from Turkey, EU-internal migrants from Bulgaria and Romania, refugees from the Arabic region and Africa, often still do not have the necessary knowledge of the German language and Germany itself. Furthermore, in many of their home countries, access to knowledge concerning various aspects of sexual health is limited, and is generally not part of their school education. This can lead to fear and anxiety. Zanzu.de helps migrants to overcome these fears and anxieties and enables them to acquire knowledge in the area of sexual health.
Who developed zanzu.de?
The Federal Centre for Health Education and the Belgian non-governmental organization Sensoa jointly developed the online portal. The German version of Zanzu differs slightly from the Belgian version – especially in the rights and law section. The content of Zanzu is based on the concept of human rights, in particular the basic sexual and reproductive rights of all human beings. It provides comprehensive information enabling people to live self-determined lives and make informed and responsible decisions. A national as well as an international advisory board that includes the Regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe supported the development of the online portal.