INTRODUCTION Malaria is a recognized public health problem globally, accounting for about 300 million clinical cases yearly in health facilities worldwide (1). It also accounts for more than one million deaths annually, with majority of the deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa (1). Malaria is known to be both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty. Poor families living in malaria endemic areas are said to spend close to 25% or more of their annual income on prevention and treatment (2). Malaria has also been estimated to account for up to 40% of public health expenditures and a decrease of the gross domestic products of many African countries by as much as 1.3% annually (3). In Nigeria, it is responsible for a huge economic loss of about 132 billion naira (US $ 880 million) annually from cost of treatment, loss of man-hours, school absenteeism and other indirect costs (4). Reducing malaria burden, therefore, will contribute to the attainment of the millennium development goals, especially those related to reduction in malaria deaths and poverty, while improving education, maternal and child health.